SBJ/December 13-18, 2010/People

Spotlight: Richard Ebers

Richard Ebers, a 25-year veteran of the ticket industry, has joined Inside Sports & Entertainment Group as its chief sales officer. Ebers' early career adventures included buying, selling and trading tickets for the successful musical "Miss Saigon." He ultimately went on to start his own agency. In addition, Ebers has been involved in community and philanthropic endeavors and was honored for his fundraising efforts at the NYU Langone Medical Center's Hospital for Joint Diseases with the naming of the Ebers Center for Foot Deformity. He talked to staff writer Brandon McClung.

Age: 59 
New title: Chief sales officer, Inside Sports & Entertainment Group 
Previous title: Partner in other ticket agencies 
First job: Worked for Sears catalog shopping 
College education: Finished degree through the Navy at Old Dominion University 
Resides: Upper East Side, New York City n Grew up: Brooklyn (10 years) and Long Island (8 years) 
Executive most admired: T. Boone Pickens n Favorite vacation spot: On a sailboat anywhere n Last book read: "Sh*t My Dad Says," by Justin Halpern 
Last movie seen: "The Social Network" n Favorite movie: "Rudy" 
Favorite musician/band: Eric Clapton

What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
I have a problem with the word "challenge" because I don't think it is going to be a challenge. It is a work in progress and it is the reason I am here, and that is to make sure this company, with all of our combined efforts and resources, that we continue to be the leader in the industry and that we are always in place to outperform our competition.

What is the biggest risk you've taken in your career?
We are in a risk business, so I look at risk as a challenge. I think that I take a risk in business on a daily basis. The percentage of risk is much less based on my experience and what I have done. … I take nothing for granted.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
It's more on the philanthropy side: having raised the money for the children's center at the Hospital for Joint Diseases. I was asked by the board there six or seven years ago to help them raise money to expand the hospital, and after helping raise millions of dollars, on my birthday of that year, having it named after me.

What is your biggest professional disappointment?
I don't think I have experienced one, so my biggest disappointment would be my father dying while I was so young and not having him see the success I have experienced in my life.

What career advice do you have for people wanting into the sports industry?
Do your due diligence every day. You need to understand who you are and feel comfortable about yourself.

What is one story you are continuing to watch in the sports world today?
Professional sports should step back and take a look. A person should not be able to come off the street and make a lot of money. For team sports, every person should have to have at least an associate's degree. It sends the wrong message.

What is the one element you would like to see changed about the sports industry?
That would be it. It would change the perspective of young people. Education is extremely important to me, and the standards need to be raised.

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