There’s a high possibility that you’ve been introduced to the nerd archetype at some point in your life. Especially if you’re reading this on a computer, using the Internet. In fact, it is nigh-inescapable. Right alongside the nerds are the techies — a phrase commonly used to pejoratively describe dwellers of Silicon Valley, or anyone else who’s a loud fan or endorser of technology.
Techies were nerds in an earlier vernacular, or perhaps they were geeks: It’s impossible and time-consuming to parse the differences between the two when, really, the only thing that seems to make any given person a techie is an above-average level of commitment and enthusiasm for plugging in. The kind of people who would be emotionally shattered if all the electricity simply vanished tomorrow.
Maybe that’s an exaggeration. However, there can be no denying that the new paradigm of technology — think smartphones and cloud services, rather than the steam engine — has shifted a massive influx of money toward people who did not have holds in more traditional business models, and a small number of them have gone on to purchase professional sports teams. Since everyone loves sports, if you had the capital, opportunity, and inclination, you’d buy a team, too.
So here are eight sports owners who started out in the wide world of technology. Some of them are more visible than others, and some of them are more recent entries into this exclusive fraternity — they’re all men, to the shock of exactly no one — but each of them provides at least part of the bottom line for one or more of America’s premier sports teams.
[Updated 11/3/14: Make that nine, as Youtube co-founder Chad Hurley, pictured above, center, just joined Magic Johnson and a host of others in the ownership group for the new Los Angeles Football Club, set to debut in 2017.]