By Barry Janoff
May 22, 2012: Tickets to the 2012 Summer Olympics can be worth their weight in gold, silver and bronze, and organizers want to make sure that the wrong people don't cash in.
The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, which recently initiated what was called the most stringent drug-testing program in Olympic history, has unveiled Olympic and Paralympic Games tickets with anti-counterfeit, anti-scalping safeguards intended to be equally stringent.
Among the safeguards, each ticket will be printed with a hologram, a barcode and the name of the booker as well as "several other security features to reduce counterfeiting," according to the LOCOG. "This will ensure every ticket can be traced to the person who purchased it."
Each ticket features the sport pictogram and a color scheme that reflects each venue to help spectators reach their destination. The tickets were designed by Futurebrand, a division of Olympics marketing partner McCann Worldgroup.
"Genuine tickets will have a number of security features built into them to minimize the risk of counterfeits," Detective Superintendent Nick Downing, Operation Podium, Metropolitan Police Service, said in a statement. "The safest way to ensure that your ticket is genuine is to only buy from an authorized seller, which can be found on the London 2012 Web site."
Downing warned consumers that if they buy tickets from an unofficial site, they risk "paying over the odds for a ticket that may not exist, may not be genuine and you risk not getting to see the Games. Your personal details could even be used in other crimes."
LOCOG stressed the importance of purchasing only from authorized sources. The majority of tickets will be sold at www.Tickets.London2012.com. There is also a full list of authorized ticket resellers available on the Web site.
"Genuine tickets will have a number of security features built into them to minimize the risk of counterfeits."
LOCOG also has a URL checker on the Web site "which will confirm whether any Web site claiming to sell London 2012 tickets is genuine or not."
The security measures also apply to the Paralympic Games, for which tickets are now on sale.
"It is important now that people keep their tickets in a safe place ready for Games time and also to be wary of Web sites and organizations claiming to have Games tickets to sell," LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton said in a statement. "In many cases, they simply do not have them to sell and there is a real danger people will end up being out of pocket and missing out on seeing the Games. If in doubt, check our Web site and be 100% certain you are buying from an authorized source."