WASHINGTON, D.C. - Vance, a global investigation and security firm known for its expertise in managing business risks, today announced the company is actively providing complete Event Integrity services for several corporate sponsors of the 2006 Torino Winter Olympic Games. Vance's expertise includes security consulting, crisis planning, physical protection and threat monitoring for corporate events and the Olympics. Vance has played a significant role in several past Games, including the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, providing corporate security and logistical support to eight of the top 10 Olympic sponsors and the Athens Olympic Organizing Committee.
"The 2006 Olympic Winter Games present a unique set of risks and security challenges compared to previous Games," says Robert Sikellis, Vance Managing Director and Associate General Counsel. "With Italy's upcoming national elections coupled with its strong military alliance with the U.S. in the war on terror, the Olympics present a significant target for terrorist acts."
Sikellis notes that the Games are being used as a platform by social protest organizations hostile to American corporate sponsors and participants. "A few organizations have already boycotted some key products known to be sold or promoted during or around the Games, putting attendees and employees in uncomfortable and potentially unsafe situations. Companies sponsoring or attending the Torino Games need to actively understand and plan for these kinds of security threats," he adds.
"Corporations must be prepared for high-risk contingencies during the 17- day Winter Olympics, which will host an estimated 5,000 athletes, thousands of guests and executives of official sponsor companies, and more than 1.5 million spectators," Sikellis stresses, noting that there is a degree of complacency about the Games that Vance believes is unwarranted.
"While the Winter Games have fewer events and participants overall, the activities are dispersed over a wider geographical area and in mountainous areas that demand greater security and logistical measures," he points out. "We are advising our clients to plan for serious contingencies, from natural disasters like avalanches and severe weather to terrorist acts and violent protest demonstrations."
Security Concerns Vary By Company
Sikellis also emphasizes the importance of understanding local laws, government policies and social conventions as well as realistically assessing specific risks that may vary from company to company. "One sponsoring organization might spark anti-globalization protests while another attracts animal rights activists," Sikellis explains. "Security planning has to take these variables into account and respond accordingly." Vance works closely with companies' internal security departments, Olympic security personnel and law enforcement organizations to monitor and address specific threat concerns. Recommended actions often include training attendees on cultural nuances and personal safety techniques, as well as monitoring threats daily using innovative online tools and local intelligence.
Vance began providing Olympic security services during the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, and has successfully protected major corporate sponsors through seven Olympic Games, developing in-depth knowledge and expertise in providing security for one of the world's most visible and well- attended events.