Talk to anyone in the today's Sports & Entertainment Industry, a multi-billion dollar juggernaut about what fuels the market. Most will tell you that it's all about safety/security and the overall fan experience.
Furthermore, ownership groups, sports marketers, venue directors, contract security, guest services, box office, merchandising, security, those entrusted duty of care responsibilities, understand that along with corporate sponsorships, the well-paying fan base drives the market.
Providing for a most memorable game day experience is part and parcel for enhancing organizational brand, bolstering profits and fostering a spirit of good will and camaraderie with your fan base. Keep fans happy/safe, they will make return visits. It's that simple.
In the world of professional sports, the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors do a terrific job creating a nexus with the Bay Area/Silicon Valley and a well-entrenched fan base. This forward thinking organization has accomplished this by utilizing ibeacon technology, further enhancing the fan experience. Fans can purchase & upgrade tickets/seating, order food, merchandise, you name it. Technology is key, social media is key. Well trained front line staffers, both in security & guest services, the gatekeepers, can have a monumental impact on fans returning to a particular venue, stadium or arena.
International Events: Summer Olympic Games
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Dates: August 5-21
The upcoming Rio Olympic Games, with an anticipated security cost of nearly 190 million dollars will be faced with significant security challenges.
In terms of sheer geography, Brazil's massive topography stretches to some 10 countries. Popular beach destination hot spots such as Copacabana & Ipanema present high crime rates/gang activity. The need for stadium staff to secure exterior perimeters/ingress/egress checkpoints as well as proper credentialing/vetting cannot be underscored
Furthermore, the security contingent, anticipated at nearly 85, 000 personnel, will be entrusted with duty of care responsibilities, i.e. effective screening measures for staff, athletes, food & beverage vendors, contractors, conversion crew, guest services, box office, political/celebrity figures, media, to name just a few.
The establishment of clear and effective lines of communication networks with U.S and French security teams will be essential for safeguarding the space.
The utilization of technology platforms- proactive monitoring of social media posts, command centers controls and ICS will be paramount in these endeavors. Post Paris & Brussels, the need to proactively train event security staff with respect to situational awareness will greatly assist with risk mitigation initiatives.
Synopsis: Safety/Security Concerns-Threats & Vulnerabilities
*alcohol beverage control programs
*low ticket sales, patron/fan experience
*mass transit/public transportation hubs-long service lines
*chokepoints/bottlenecks-ingress/egress security access points
*zika virus-health concerns, unsanitary conditions
*government economic infrastructure/ instability
*drones, dispersement- biological/radiological/chemical agents
*cyber security/technology breeches
*inclement/severe weather conditions
*anarchist groups/threat of terrorism- lone wolf, domestic/international
*protesters, giant corruption scandal, potential presidential impeachment trial
Tourism Economic/Financial Impact: Pros- cheaper currency along with nearly 100 percent of hotels booked for the Games.
The Summer Olympic Games are less than 100 days away. The eyes of the Sports Security world will be on Rio. The question begs: Is Brazil ready for the challenge? Let's hope so.
James A.DeMeo, M.S. is recognized a SME in the niche market discipline known as Sports Security by several leading publications. DeMeo is a 25 year Security Industry Professional with a specialization in safeguarding the confined space-stadiums, venue and arenas. DeMeo holds professional memberships in the SRLA, IAVM, NCS4, ASIS-Chapter 179, Austin, Texas.