Rishe knows the score on sports
When journalists want to know the economic impact of the Super Bowl or economic losses inflicted by the National Hockey League lockout, they ask sports economist Patrick Rishe, PhD ’97. Rishe is an associate professor of economics at Webster University, the founder and president of research firm SportsImpacts and a contributor to Forbes.com.
Aside from conducting research at mega-sporting events and being quoted by international media, Rishe has provided litigation support in federal court cases. Last year, he was an expert witness in the case in which boxer Manny Pacquiao sued rival Floyd Mayweather over past accusations of steroid use.
“I was proud to be affiliated with such a significant case,” Rishe says. “It required considerable research and creativity to accurately assess the damage to Pacquiao’s endorsement value caused by these accusations.”
Rishe acquires clients through relentless networking, a skill that he tries to reinforce with his students. He tells them, “You won’t maximize your professional potential unless you have a willingness to reach out to the marketplace.” He also conveys to students the importance of setting high ethical standards. “If not careful, you can put yourself in situations where there are significant political pressures to produce results that are what the client wants to see,” Rishe says. “Fortunately, I have been able to stand up to clients and, if a client reveals a lack of integrity, I pass on the project.”
Rishe keeps a close eye on market trends in the sports industry, such as dynamic ticket pricing, which both of New York’s baseball franchises employ.
“The variable pricing model has existed in the airline and hotel industry for years,” he says. “Fans have embraced the reality that prices change on a daily basis based on circumstances in pro sports, and teams now have the technology to implement real-time pricing of their ticket inventory.”