“I probably spend $1,000 on apps a week,” he told the Journal, also noting that, these days, he’s been downloading deer-hunting games.
I admit that sounds a bit over the top, but perhaps Boston athletes could stand to learn a thing or two from the seven-foot-one wonder. Shaq isn’t playing around when he says he’s into tech. The retired basketball player invested in Google pre-IPO. His Twitter account was also the first to be verified by the social media mogul. And, as the story goes, Shaq gave Steve Jobs a friendly call to see if he could get his hands on a new iPhone before it hit stores. Jobs said no, but that’s besides the point.
The Hub is a capital for top tech talent. We have startups in plenty, streaming out of local accelerators and universities. Here in Boston, we also know how to ball. The city’s home to some of the world’s best athletes and most beloved sports teams. Head to a Celtics, Bruins or Red Sox game, and chances are there will be a member of Boston’s innovation class in the crowd. I imagine it’s nearly impossible for that not to be the case, considering how big of fans Bostonians seem to be.
Granted, I will never be Boston’s go-to sports guru. But I have to wonder if that sweet spot between Boston tech and Boston sports could get, well, sweeter.
Might there be a way for Boston athletes to show a little love to the local tech scene? The Hub is home to a number of sports-related tech companies — RunKeeper, Lose It!, CoachUp and Star Street, to name a few – doing awesome things. Video coaching startup Ubersense, for example, used its technology to help the U.S. and other countries’ bobsled and skeleton teams prepare for the Sochi Olympics.
It’s important to note that this overlap between the startup and sports scene has happened before. Techstars startup Fancred dropped jaws on Demo Day last spring when designated Red Sox hitter David Ortiz joined the team on stage.
I’m neither suggesting that Bruins’ players drop hundreds on apps, nor positing that the Celtics host pitchathons in Shaq’s footsteps. But perhaps there exists an untapped opportunity in the power of both Boston innovation and sports communities that could make for a slam dunk.
Image via Reuters