What Access Control Solution Is Tough Enough for the Ultimate Fighting Championship?

Originating from the Brazilian full-contact sport of Vale tudo, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debuted in the United States in 1993. Today it has grown into one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world, promoting competition of the most effective and skilled mixed martial arts. This year UFC will continue to bring us legendary battles, shocking finishes, and historic debuts with 33 high-profile events hosted in the United States and around the world.

UFC is the fastest growing sports organizations in the world. While this tremendous rise in popularity presented incredible opportunities; it also exposed the need for a greater focus on security. As such, a key challenge UFC faced was to ensure staff security with a control system designed to eliminate unauthorized access to its offices and facilities.

“We continued to have tremendous company growth and wanted to be proactive in terms of keeping our people safe,” says Jim Singleton, executive director of security and protective operations, UFC. “Our goal was to find an access control system that met our immediate needs but allowed consolidation with other security solutions into one system. At the same time, a system that was flexible enough to accommodate our needs in the future.”

While UFC’s office facility had an access control system in place, it simply was inadequate and did not offer the extensive functionality of a premium access control system. There were considerable reliability concerns. “The support for the system was limited and it didn’t instill much confidence,” says UFC Director of Security Joe Williams.

A search began to find and select an access control system flexible enough to meet UFC’s stringent requirements for both today, as well as tomorrow. When UFC approached A&B Security Group, a renowned Las Vegas security and lock expert, with its challenge it wasn’t long before UFC learned about Keyscan Access Control Systems.

“Keyscan has always been our go-to product because it always has and always will work,” says Jay Keller of A&B Security Group. “We recommended the Keyscan system because of its integration flexibility with other systems. It has full access control capability; it works with existing readers and integrates well with CCTV camera platforms and DSC intrusion panels. Plus, additional software modules for creating custom ID badges for events as well as remote Web access, and visitor management was there and ready to go,” he says. “UFC wanted a reliable system designed to simplify everything and to consolidate the work to one-platform and Keyscan was the solution it needed.”

The choice to proceed with A&B Security Group, with years of experience and a number of similar and successful installations in the past, was clear. The Keyscan system offered the features UFC needed today as well as the flexibility to continue to meet those needs well into the future.

“At first, the plan was to integrate the Keyscan system with some of the existing hardware already in place,” Keller recalls. “Then because of the reliability of the Keyscan system and the host of features it offered, a decision was later made to go with Keyscan across the board.”

“With the concerns UFC experienced with the previous access control system we wanted to be absolutely sure we had everything covered,” Keller says. “The Keyscan system really instilled confidence in the turnkey solution that A&B Security Group recommended.”

The installation began at UFC’s home office in Las Vegas. To date the system consists of a combination of Keyscan’s single-door and multi-door control panels. Currently the system controls a total of 50 doors, in six separate buildings and are all regulated by Keyscan’s System VII Suite access control management software.

Since the installation, UFC has put the entire Keyscan system to the test. It serves multiple buildings; it integrates well with other existing systems and it keeps up with expansion objectives. The system has solved UFC’s challenge.

“It was also important to find a system that will expand without having to constantly incur added cost with each expansion,” Jay said.

One expansion planned is the installation of an integrated CCTV camera system. “The integration options Keyscan allows for CCTV camera platforms will be a huge benefit,” Keller says. “All cameras can be viewed in a single user interface through the Keyscan System VII software. It consolidates everything into one easy to manage system.”

Keyscan’s further ability to integrate with other security products also proved successful. With Keyscan System VII’s optional K-DSC software module, arming or disarming the intrusion alarm can be easily performed at any reader by any authorized person entering or leaving the office. “It is definitely a convenient and time-saving feature,” Williams says.

Keyscan’s K-Web software module takes convenience to another level. With K-WEB, Williams can perform system maintenance and tasks from any remote location using a Web-enabled PC or mobile device offering a true and secure mobile solution.

The Keyscan system has also eliminated any concerns associated with lost or stolen keys. “The system gave me the ability to control access easily,” Williams says. “If a card credential was lost, I’ll simply cancel it and issue a new card credential, rather than issue new keys,” he says.

As the director of security, Williams knows that access to buildings must remain secure while at the same time be flexible enough to welcome and host visitors to their facilities with no interruption. The K-VIS visitor management software simplified the task.

It gave Williams full oversight on all visitor activity and allowed a full range of automated features to register and monitor visitors to any of UFC’s buildings or facilities. But, it didn’t end there.

Keyscan’s K-Badge software module has also played a strong role. The dual-purpose module has been used to produce custom ID badges for both staff and visitors. Photographs of staff and visitors are captured by a USB camera and imported into a custom designed ID badge template and printed on cards to further identify staff and visitors. This is all performed within Keyscan’s System VII access control management software.

UFC has been quite happy with the Keyscan system and the expert installation and service they received from A&B Security Group. “Keyscan and A&B Security Group really provided outstanding service. They went out of their way to ensure we had everything we needed, when we needed it. Any maintenance or repairs were made without delay. The service was top quality,” Keller says.

“That’s really the driving force behind why we recommend the Keyscan system,” Keller adds. “Whatever support we’ve needed, it has been there.”


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