Sensormatic gives Olympic coverage

Tuesday, January 1, 2002

SALT LAKE CITY-With less than a month to go before the 2002 Olympic Winter Games kicks off, Sensormatic Electronics is readying its final preparations for the company's sponsorship of the electronic security at the games.

When the installations are complete, the company will have installed nearly 500 PTZ cameras that will protect 10 key competition venues, including the bobsled tracks and the speed-skating arena, located just outside Salt Lake City, said Louis Chiera, director of Olympic marketing for Sensor-matic. The company will have 30 technicians on the Olympic grounds as the games draw closer, he said.

The company is also responsible for non-competition arenas, such as the main press room and broadcast area, which will house about 9,000 members of the media, and the Olympic Village, with two miles of perimeter fencing connected to alarm panels and monitored for intrusion. About 3,500 athletes and officials are expected to attend the games.

The recent terrorist attacks have put security at the Olympics at center stage, but the same basic plan that was outlined when Sensormatic announced its partnership still holds true, Chiera said.
"Just as any other business or entity has to re-examine its security after Sept. 11, the (Olympic) organizing committee also has," he said. "They really have just gone back and tweaked it."

Although the federal government approved an additional $30 million in appropriations for the games, the bulk of those funds will go toward security personnel during the events, which run from Feb. 8 to 24.

Using fiber optic connections laid by telecommunications sponsors, the company will be able to provide live video from nearly all the competition venues to the central command center, where officials can monitor crowd activity as well as use the live video to manage the events, Chiera said.

For Sensormatic, the marketing power of the Olympic brand is one that far outweighs the cost of its sponsorship, he said, which translates to a "small amount of cash, most of which is in value and in kind" in the technology the company provides and services in installing and integrating the equipment.

"There are both external and internal programs that are in place from a marketing standpoint to utilize the hospitality that we have access to," he said, whether it is bringing customers out to the site, communicating with other business partners or even running contests for employees.

Most of the equipment will be resold, except for installations such as the Utah Olympic Park, where it becomes part of the building's legacy equipment. Other installations, such as the Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium on the campus of University of Utah, where opening and closing ceremonies will be held, will be dismantled and resold, Chiera said.

The company has also set up a facial recognition access control system to guard the Olympic medals, which are being mined and manufactured by a local vendor.

Garrett Metal Detectors, another sponsor of the games, will be contributing 500 walk-through, 425 hand-held and 10 ground-searching metal detectors to secure various sites.