Last week, the world lost one of the great entrepreneurial minds, Steve Jobs, to pancreatic cancer. It is undisputable that Jobs revolutionized the landscape of the technology industry. While Apple products may not be in the hands of every consumer, they certainly have influenced the design of whatever substitute others use in their daily life.
Articles have sprung up like wildfire since Jobsâ€™ passing about his impact on music, technology, and the creative arts. I feel Steve Jobs also deserves to be commended for how his innovations directly impacted the sports community. Letâ€™s take a look at some of his key products and how they have shaped both athletes and sports consumers.
While Mac computers are some of the strongest laptops and desktops out there, the iPod was the first breakthrough that became a game changer in its industry. With the support of iTunes, iPods quickly became the go-to mp3 player for people on the go.
Since its inception, you would likely find a multitude of iPods in every locker room, before every game, all across the nation, with music ranging from Rage Against The Machine to Taylor Swift on them to get players pumped for the big game.
With the iPod Touch, Jobs brought things to another level, allowing consumers to purchase apps for their device, where they could things like track their workout routines, hiking trails, and other athletic endeavors.
The iPod Touch eventually let to the advent of the iPhone, continually the best-selling smartphone in the industry. At the time, the phone was revolutionary and dramatically changed the amount of access to information we could have in our pocket.
It also allowed for our favorite athletes and sport commentators to â€œtweetâ€ at a momentâ€™s notice. Because of the explosion of smartphones, fans can now stay up to date on their favorite sports superstars.
Even beyond that, fans can get instant updates on NFL scores and video highlights from games they couldnâ€™t see on TV. â€œI can instantly find out the latest stats and info on the Green Bay Packers, even when I am on my way to class. Itâ€™s great,â€ says Greg Specht, an avid sports fan and IU senior.
The latest of the devices, the iPad, has built upon the iPhoneâ€™s success and made a platform where you can more easily surf the web for sports content in the most intuitive way possible.
As Brandon Cavaness, IU Informatics graduate and Apple devotee states, â€œI would say the biggest thing Steve Jobs did is make it all interactive. He not only changed how you watched sports but how you interact with it. Never before could you touch a player on the screen and instantly get all his stats.â€
All of these products, along with Apple TV, which has channels and features dedicated to all major athletics, have changed the way we consume sports. â€œYou can see way more info about the game than you ever could from the way the media wanted you to,â€ added Cavaness. Steve Jobs is responsible for making this all happen.
Athletes from Lance Armstrong to Lebron James made public comments about how much they revered Jobs for his contributions, most of which were shared through devices Jobs and his Apple team created.
Of all the quotes, I think pro skateboarder Tony Hawk put it best: â€œSteve Jobs was the man.â€
So next time you are on your iWhatever checking up on your favorite team, remember who you have to thank.