SALT LAKE CITY — For many Utah Jazz fans, Ryan Smith is a name that is quickly become recognizable with the professional franchise that has been in Utah since 1979.
Smith bought the Jazz organization from the Miller family in October 2020 for an estimated cost of $1.6 billion.
Here are some things you may not know about Ryan Smith:
- He had originally thought about purchasing the Minnesota Timberwolves, but his wife talked him out of moving forward with the transaction.
- You are probably aware that Smith is a co-founder of Qualtrics. But did you know that the company focuses on online customer-survey software? If you take any online survey, it likely used Smith’s company.
- Smith is a Brigham Young University graduate. However, you may not know that left school after his junior year to focus on his business. He returned to school years later, and earned his degree in 2016.
- Smith is a basketball fanatic. He even has a basketball court in the basement of his home. There is also a court inside Qualtrics headquarters.
- He is known for his charity work. Smith created a 5 for the Fight charity organization in 2017. This campaign solicits $5 donations in an effort to find a cure for cancer. The organization has raised $27 million globally, to date.
- He was born in Eugene, Ore., where his father taught at the University of Oregon. He also lived in South Korea for a time before attending BYU.
- In an interview with CNN, Smith said he loves to visit New York City, and is uses Twitter to get all of his news.
- Ryan Smith is one of eight NBA owners who have a background in the tech industry. Joseph Tsai (Brooklyn), Mark Cuban (Dallas), Joe Lacob (Golden State), Steve Ballmer (Los Angeles Clippers), Vivek Ranadivé (Sacramento) and Ted Leonsis (Washington) make up the others.
- Smith and his wife have five children.
- Many of the largest companies worldwide use his company’s platforms. In 2021, its yearly revenues are on pace to surpass $1 billion.
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