WASHINGTON - Each year, Forbes Magazine comes out with a list of the top 30 individuals, under the age of 30, in 15 different categories, recognizing the brightest young stars in their respective fields. Georgetown University football alum Collin Meador (B'09), an investment associate with the San Francisco 49ers, has been named to the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30: Sports which recognizes people for their contributions both on and off the field.
"Personally, I am very grateful to be recognized," Meador said. "It's an honor to be aligned with such a well-known and respected brand."
Meador, who finished with 21 receptions for 254 yards and three touchdowns as a senior tight end in 2008, is joined on the list by the likes of Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller and U.S. Olympic champion Symone Biles. His role with the 49ers includes seeking new investment opportunities designed to increase both player performance and fan experience.
"I think of myself as working for the York family with the mission to progress the sport and enhance the brand of the San Francisco 49ers. Ultimately, how that has manifested itself is through technology that can be used either at the stadium, by the fans or by the players. It can be anywhere from our inclusive venue app, VenueNext (mobile ordering to seats, mobile ticketing, wayfinding throughout the stadium, etc.) sport technology, player performance, virtual or augmented reality or anything where we can give entrepreneurial people a platform to succeed."
The day-to-day portion of Meador's job largely consists of identifying and understanding new technology, then acting as a liaison between ownership and various stakeholders at the taem. The 49ers, which just opened Levi's Stadium in 2014, are located in the tech capital of the world -- Silicon Valley -- and Meador must ensure that the franchise is staying ahead of the curve and keeping up on the latest news and trends.
"We have the most innovative, tech-enabled stadium in the country, so we are motivated to not be complacent and continue to innovate. The whole Silicon Valley mindset is to be ahead of the curve, thinking about what's next."
A special project that Meador has been working on, on behalf of the ownership of the 49ers, is a bid to bring a Major League Soccer (MLS) team to the city of Sacramento -- approximately 90 miles north of San Francisco. MLS has announced that the league will be expanding from 24 to 28 teams, with the first two expansion franchises being announced in 2017. Sacramento is one of 11 cities currently bidding for those four teams, and already has a United Soccer League (USL) franchise that would be promoted to MLS.
"This is one of the favorite projects we've done. Not knowing much about Sacramento prior to moving to the Bay Area, I have been very impressed by the fantastic passion of the supporters and market for their team. There is a buzz in the city for the sport of soccer.
"We have been working hard for a couple of years and are full-speed ahead on building a 20,000-seat stadium in downtown Sacramento, which is ripe for growth. It will be one of the only 360-degree stadiums in Major League Soccer to give it that intimacy, that intense environment that will create a real home-field advantage. We are very excited about that."
Meador attributes part of his professional success to his time in a Georgetown football uniform.
"One thing that definitely molded me to who I am today was the early-morning practices -- getting up at a time that is less than desirable for a college student. I think that built a lot of discipline in me that I've taken forward. Football is a game where you have a lot of people on the field and everyone has to do their job otherwise the team doesn't succeed. When I am working the long hours, or taking calls not in the typical business hours, it's really that team mentality of doing whatever it takes in the spirit of getting better together."