Salt Lake City-Qualtrics CEO and co-founder, Ryan Smith, who will become the owner of the Utah Jazz, was blunt in his first sentence after announcing that he would take over the team.
Smith said: “I have no secrets about my interest in the NBA. And I have no secrets about my interest in the Jazz.”
This is no secret, because Smith’s connection with the Jazz and the Union is very obvious.
Qualtrics is a sponsor of the NBA jersey patch (the company donated the patch to the charity 5 For The Fight), and the company has deals with the NBA and Jazz. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (Adam Silver) appeared at the Qualtrics meeting, Smith (Smith) appeared in the ad with Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell in. Oh, if this is not enough to prove his love of basketball, then there is a court in his home and in Qualtrics̵
He once dreamed of playing for the team. Now he can run it.
Qualtrics was founded in Prover in 2002 by brothers Ryan and Jared Smith. It was originally thought of as a tool to put surveys and questionnaires on the Internet so that anyone can conduct market research. Since then, it has developed into a technology giant. Qualtrics has developed into an analytics platform (some jazz fans would like to hear) that can help companies evaluate performance with customers and employees, and is used by companies all over the world.
This growth does not happen overnight. Smith and Qualtrics guided themselves on the path to success and did not raise any external funds until 2012. In January, Smith praised the Utah technology community for helping him grow.
Smith said: “Everything I get comes from Utah… This ecosystem has helped our organization succeed.”
It is difficult to find someone as successful as Smith. In 2018, he reached a deal that caused a sensation in the entire financial world: he sold Qualtrics to the German multinational software company SAP for a staggering $8 billion, a large part of which was sold to the Smith family- And continue to serve as CEO.
So yes, Smith has the funds to compete with other NBA owners. But he doesn’t want to own any team. He is attentive. In October 2019, in the media room of the Zions Bank basketball campus, Smith was asked on the radio whether he was interested in owning a sports franchise.
“I mean, there are a lot of people who like to buy a team anywhere and do it. You know, some of my friends did it. Then they are four time zones away from the team. That’s just not that interesting to me ,” Smith said. “I like Utah and some places nearby. But the timing must be right.”
Now is the time for 42-year-old Smith. He founded a company in his parents’ basement, has 25 offices around the world, and has more than 3,000 employees. In order to announce its intention to go public in July, it plans to add 5,000 employees by 2023.
Now, he has the opportunity to make the Utah Jazz a champion he wants to play when he grows up.
Lori Kun, Qualtrics’ head of social influence, told KSL.com in May: “Ryan Smith always says that when there is a problem, when there is a problem, we must have the smartest minds about it.”
In the technical world, he did this, constantly adapting his company to continuous success (no, Qualtrics is more than just a research company). And he did this with 5 For The Fight-not only by raising funds, but also by funding fellowships to try to find a cure for cancer.
He helped small businesses-buying 50 meals a day in local restaurants to help them cope with the coronavirus-and offered businesses a “work from home” program for free (9,000 companies used the program). Qualtrics has developed a tool to help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.
Smith has created his own legacy in Utah. Now he can add to another.
“I was sitting there with my kids this week, participating in the junior Jazz program you started, and there were hundreds of kids running around; the legacy you created is unshakable,” Smith told current jazz boss Gail Miller on Wednesday . “Everyone expresses my heartfelt thanks for this. Jazz is a gift to the entire community-this is our view, this is our 100% view.”
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