April 20, 2014  

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Social Media Discussion Highlights Sports Security National Conference

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The role of social media in today’s society has taken on greater significance with the unprecedented explosion of networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

And the 2011 National Sport Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition will address this growing phenomenon with a panel discussion titled, “The Role of Social media in Understanding and Managing Spectator Sports Events.” The conference, hosted by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi, is set for Aug. 2-4 in New Orleans.

“Social media is a new tool for colleges in marketing and spreading information for their sports programs, but remains overlooked for the crisis communication plan,” said Bill Smith, assistant athletic director for new media at the University of Arkansas, who will moderate the panel discussion. “Whether schools realize it or not, they must incorporate monitoring and have plans in place to make sure the correct life safety information is being put out via real-time reporting systems.”

More than 400 security professionals and 56 vendor exhibits are expected for the second annual conference which will feature keynote speeches and several panel discussions by some of the nation’s top sports/security executives.

Wendy Harman, director of Social Strategy for the American Red Cross, will also serve as a panelist for the social media discussion scheduled for day two of the conference. Harman says the future is now with regard to the role social media plays in today’s frenzied world of spectator sports.

“Sports marketing tends to be more cutting edge than most other industries, so there’s a great established marketing and communications plan within most teams and leagues,” said Harman. “In the very near future, though, social communities will be important to all aspects of operations – and one of those areas is within security.”

Smith salutes NCS4 for taking a leadership role in bringing sports security to the forefront of crisis discussions.

“This conference brings together the top minds in the industries with the key leaders in the sporting community to make sure that the number one priority is met – safe, secure sporting environments,” said Smith.

For more information about NCS4 and the national conference, call 601.266.6183 or visit www.NCS4.com/conference