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Fans love transfers. Clubs love transfers. Everybody loves transfers. That initial rush of seeing something new is an instant dopamine hit. 

For clubs and their marketing team, a player announcement video is where they earn their money. That is the time when they expect maximum social engagements with their post. Those engagement figures are then proudly showcased to potential sponsors in exchange for more money and hence goes the cycle. 

However, there’s a club whose social media harnesses the true power of their reach to ring about a change for the positive too. 



Two years ago, AS Roma, under the guidance of their now ex-Chief Strategy Officer, Paul Rogers, came up with a novel idea. The club were already making waves on social media platforms due to their quirky and witty social media game with a personal touch. In such a situation, while most clubs would look to leverage this increased reach for getting bigger sponsors, Rogers and his team went head-on to tackle a glaring problem in society. 



On August 2, AS Roma signed Eldor Shomurodov to beef up their striking options. Along came the signature unveiling video, with the fans flooding to the AS Roma account to get the first glimpse of their new superstar. However, AS Roma do it differently. The video was divided into two frames. While Shomurodov was carrying out the formalities that come with joining a club on the left frame, there was a slideshow that showed pictures of children that have gone missing on the right. 

Along with the name of the child and the time they were last seen, a number kept flashing on the screen where anyone with info could contact authorities. Through that video, something magical happened. A missing Polish girl, who was featured in Shomurodov’s unveiling video, was found. Astoundingly, the Polish girl became the 12th child to have been found through AS Roma’s unveiling videos.



“It is difficult to explain the happiness of having in some way contributed to the finding of one of these children and consequently to the relief of her family,” Shomurodov, who joined Roma from Genoa on 2 August, said. “I’m proud to be part of a club that uses the popularity of football in this way.”

AS Roma partners with missing person charities around the world, from UK, Italy, Greece, to Kenya, Poland and many more. Getting their database of missing children, they put their incredible social media reach to use. Knowing that maximum engagement hits when a new signing is announced, they came up with this novel idea of putting pictures of missing children in a slideshow format, side-by-side to their new signing being unveiled. 

Prior to this, AS Roma social content team had already won accolades for their engaging posts. At a time when every team was pushing mundane, robotic club updates through their account, AS Roma was a breath of fresh air. Under the leadership of Paul Rogers, AS Roma won “Best Use Of Content On Social Media” in 2017, along with numerous other accolades. 



It had reached a point where fans were increasingly following AS Roma’s account despite their allegiances lying elsewhere, just so they could engage with their posts. With momentum on their side, followers skyrocketing, and engagement soaring, AS Roma had become the place to be as far as football social media goes. 



In the United States alone, more than 460,000 children are reported missing every year. Worldwide, this heartbreaking statistic would increasingly go into millions. Taking the people affected by that one missing child, and it would be an exaggeration to say that billions of people are affected every year due to this. While 12 would seem like a small number given this context, it is 12 families that AS Roma’s incredibly novel idea has successfully reunited. 

“It is a campaign that all of us here at AS Roma are passionate about supporting and the club is humbled to have contributed to the finding of 12 children so far,” said Roma’s chief marketing officer, Max Van Den Doel. “Obviously the true credit goes to all the associations with whom we collaborate, and who fill our hearts with joy whenever they inform us another child has been found.”



“The campaign has given visibility to over 100 children who are vulnerable to exploitation and in many cases have been forgotten by society,’ said Caroline Humer from the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. “Every day children go missing around the world and every person can help bring them home by looking at the images to see if they recognise anyone.” 

AS Roma have shown how such a small step can bring about a huge difference. They have set an example for how the incredible power of social media can be used to bring about positive changes too. It is all the more heartening to see this when the ugly side of social media, due to racism, mob hatred and other issues has taken over the discourse. 12 children have been found so far, hopefully, many more to come. 

Besides this, AS Roma lead numerous other initiatives in a bid to bring about positive change. Be it delivering food to cat and dog shelters during COVID times, or partnering with World Food Programme under the United Nations, AS Roma has always been at the forefront of noble causes.

It’s not common to see even the rival club’s fans rooting for their rival to sign more players, but that’s the goodwill and respect AS Roma have earned from the footballing fraternity and beyond, and rightly so.AS Roma showcased why it should be considered as one of the smartest clubs in Europe to come up with such creative strategy for good will.

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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