Forty Under 40: Jared Smith
Title: President, North America
Where born: Dubuque, Iowa
Education: University of Iowa (B.A., journalism and mass communication)
Career background: Ticketmaster since 2003; before that: Columbus (Ga.) Civic Center, director of marketing and events; Quad Cities Sports Commission, executive director
Family: Wife, Angela; daughters, Olivia (5) and Tessa (20 months)
Favorite app: Path.
Guilty pleasure: Golf. One of the reasons you don’t golf is you can’t justify five or six hours on a golf course if you’ve been gone all day.
Worst habit: Late nights.
Group supported: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Person in the industry I’d most like to meet: Mark Parker.
I have a fear of … : Failure. Always have.
Most adventurous thing I’ve ever done is … : Having the opportunity to play Augusta National Golf Course.
2014 will be a good year if … : Somehow my Hawkeyes can make a run in the NCAA tournament and a push to the Rose Bowl.
LIVE NATION ENTERTAINMENT
The president of Ticketmaster chuckles when you ask about his work-life balance.
For almost two years, Jared Smith spent four out of every five weeks commuting from his Atlanta home to Ticketmaster’s Los Angeles headquarters, where as chief operating officer he was charged with helping restructure the company he had been with since 2003. When he was elevated to president of Ticketmaster North America in May, it became apparent that a full-scale relocation was in order.
Executive Editor Abraham Madkour and project editor Mark Mensheha talk about the Forty Under 40 selection process and the class of 2014.
The prospect of a move across country was particularly daunting for Smith and his family because, while they are not from the Southeast, they had spent nearly a decade there. Though they had moved four times in 10 years — from Columbus, Ga., to Birmingham, Ala., to Virginia Beach, Va., to Charlotte to Atlanta — they had at least managed to stay in the same region.
“We were born in Iowa but we’re born-again Southerners,” Smith said. “We loved the lifestyle and we had been in Atlanta long enough to put down some roots. But, sitting in Atlanta, asking myself if I was offered this opportunity would I take it? It was a no-brainer.”
When Smith spoke recently to a University of South Florida grad school class that visited Ticketmaster’s offices, he used his own path as an example of how a willingness to go a long stretch without putting down roots could help with advancement in a competitive field such as sports. He encouraged them to be flexible not only in where they would go, but also in what they do.
Smith’s degree is in journalism and communications. His first two jobs were at a sports commission and at an arena. “Don’t get stuck in the muck of ‘I have a degree in sports management with an emphasis in marketing and I will only take a marketing job,’” Smith said. “For the vast majority of people in this business, that’s not how it happens.”
— Bill King