Mississippi professor earns national honor for sporting event fan safety – Magnolia State Live

Mississippi professor wins national award for keeping sports fans safe

Published on Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 21:40

dr Lou Marciani, Director and Co-Founder of the Innovation Institute for Fan Experience (IIFX), will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2023 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition, June 27-29 in San Antonio.

The event is hosted annually by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS⁴) at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM).

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the long-term achievements and contributions of an individual who have earned the respect and admiration of professional peers in the sports safety community. The award was created to recognize exemplary talent and contribution that is reflected in the nominee’s dedication, loyalty, ability and integrity. The award is sponsored by the Meridian Rapid Defense Group, which provides SAFETY Act certified barriers to major sporting events across the United States

“I am grateful to my family and professional colleagues for this lifetime achievement recognition from the University of Southern Mississippi, an institution I have proudly served for more than 30 years,” said Dr. Lou Marciani, director and co-founder of the Innovation Institute for Fan Experience (IIFX). “I am honored to work with inter-university, inter-university and professional sports leagues to help develop programs and best practices to ensure the sports and entertainment industries are safe and secure. I fondly remember my 50+ years of working with government, the sports and entertainment industry, academia, the United States Olympic Committee, Interpol, student athletes and so many wonderful professionals and dear friends.”

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dr Marciani has dedicated his life to improving and advancing sports management education and safety. His pioneering efforts reached the world and will help shape the future of the security industry. His outstanding service to USM spanned more than three decades and was recognized with his induction into USM’s Alumni Hall of Fame in 2013.

“DR. “Lou Marciani has been a driving force in improving safety and the guest experience in the sports and entertainment industries,” said Rick Fenton, CSSP, Vice President/CSO, Corporate Security & Safety for Ilitch Holdings, Inc. “His leadership has We are driving technological change in these industries while promoting the improvement of education and training at all levels in professional sports, inter-college/inter-school athletics, marathon and endurance events, international sporting events, private sector companies and government agencies. Dr. Lou has dedicated his life to improving sports and entertainment management and safety.”

dr Lou Marciani joined USM in 1974 as the first full-time director of intramural sports. Under his leadership, the department expanded to include intramural recreational sports. He has served as President of the National Intramural Recreation Sports Association and is a recipient of the Honor Award.

After serving as athletic director at Salisbury University and East Stroudsburg University, Dr. Marciani returned to Southern Miss in 1989 as assistant athletic director for external affairs. In 1991 he served as athletic director at Western Kentucky University and Drexel University and as executive director of two governing committees of the United States Olympic Committee.

dr Marciani returned to Southern Miss in 2004 to serve as principal of the School of Human Performance and Recreation. During this time, Dr. Marciani, along with his colleagues, secured the first round of government funding to help build the NCS⁴. dr Marciani served as the NCS⁴’s first director from 2006 to 2020, securing more than $13 million in federal homeland security grants.

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Under the leadership of Dr. Marciani, NCS⁴ has grown into a highly respected national and international academic leader in the sports, entertainment and school safety industries. His vision, passion, and astute insight created a global center serving academic research and scholarship, education, training, industry best practices, and innovative technological advances.

“Dr. Marciani is a visionary who has always pushed for improvements in the industry,” said Dr. Stacey A. Hall, NCS4 Executive Director and Professor of Sport Management he helped develop the NCS4 from a well-known domestic resource center to an internationally recognized training and education center. His service at USM in various capacities and throughout his career in the fields of athletics, education and safety will have a lasting impact. The NCS4 team is eager to continue the good work and build on the foundation they have laid.”

dr Marciani expanded the global reach of USM and NCS⁴ by establishing a formal relationship with the INTERPOL project STADIA program in 2012 to help develop sports safety police capacity building training for its 194 member states. The courses helped prepare Silver level Police Commanders for their role in protecting 3.4 million spectators at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. dr Marciani recruited global Fortune 500 technology companies to form NCS⁴’s Technology Alliance and has lectured at universities in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

After leaving NCS⁴ in 2020, Dr. Marciani co-founded IIFX with the goal of building a global alliance to drive the next big leap in fan experience, one that is characterized by safety, security and service. The Institute is united by the passion and skills of visionary thought leaders from across the international community, who join forces with technical and subject matter experts to create new ways to address critical security challenges and transform the experience of sports and entertainment fans around the world for the better.

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dr Marciani’s family has been involved with USM for decades, as his four children all graduated from USM. His grandson, Maddox, will join the Southern Miss family in the fall of 2023. He remains actively involved in the Hattiesburg community by supporting numerous fundraisers and USM athletic programs.

“I am deeply grateful for the love and support of my lovely family – Sandi, Todd, Chris, Jennifer and Justin and their families. They continue to fuel my passion for creating safe, memorable events at every stop of the fan journey. Our work continues,” concluded Dr. Marciani.

The award will be presented at an annual awards luncheon held on the second day of the conference. The lunch is sponsored by Evolv Technology, a company that provides weapon detection systems for security checkpoints.

Please plan to join and register now. Registration deadline for the conference is June 8th. For more information on the awards, visit the awards website.

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