Jed York

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Jed York
Jed York Web Summit.jpg
York at the 2015 Web Summit
Born John Edward York
1980 (age 37–38)
Youngstown, Ohio, United States
Alma mater University of Notre Dame
Occupation Sports executive
Parent(s) Denise DeBartolo York, John York

John Edward "Jed" York (born c. 1980) is an American sports executive who is the current CEO of the San Francisco 49ers NFL franchise. York is the son of Denise DeBartolo York and John York and nephew of former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward J. DeBartolo Jr.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio,[1] York attended St. Charles Elementary School and Cardinal Mooney High School.[2] While in high school he was a baseball team captain and the senior class president.[2] He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in Finance and History.[1]


York has thought through many issues, including those of social justice, and has been involved in large-scale charity work, including an active role with Tipping Point, an organization that supports programs seeking to help end poverty.[3] The York family have long been interested in education. Jed’s wife, Danielle, is a former teacher in San Francisco Unified, and education is a favorite charitable pursuit of Jed’s mother, Denise York.[4]

Social Justice[edit]

Rather than distance himself from Colin Kaepernick in the wake of the quarterback’s decision to protest during the national anthem, the San Francisco 49ers owner took a step firmly in support of him.[5] The 49ers were one of the first teams involved in the ongoing protest debate; former quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first major player to kneel to protest racial inequality and police brutality, and the team has remained committed to social change.[6] 49ers Management, led by York – has been upfront and principled supporting both Kaepernick’s right to protest during the anthem and also his authentic desire to have a conversation about the issues involved.[7] York stated, “Today, I am committing that the 49ers Foundation will contribute $1M to the cause of improving racial and economic inequality and fostering communication and collaboration between law enforcement and the communities they serve here in the Bay Area."[8] When other owners were erupting over their player’s protest during the anthem, York commissioned a solid statement on the first night of the protest and has kept that even-keel throughout.[9]

STEAM Education[edit]

The 49ers Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the football team, has been offering the STEAM program since 2014, and has served more than 200,000 students, mostly from low-income schools in the Bay Area. About 300 to 350 students a day visit the stadium as part of the program.[10] In the 49ers program, the lessons are taught by teachers who work for the 49ers, although regular teachers are encouraged to use the curriculum in their own classrooms. Students learn about football-related topics such as force and impact, how objects move in flight, and yardage and statistics. But they learn about the stadium itself – how water is recycle from the field irrigation system, how solar panels and the rooftop garden help conserve energy, the benefits of recycling all those plastic cups on game days and how the stadium was constructed.[11] The 49ers also run a STEM Leadership Institute, an intensive math and science program for 240 middle and high school students in Santa Clara.[12] The STEAM program emphasizes hands-on projects, such as outdoor relay races to study energy transference and project where students build their own stadiums out of Styrofoam, wooden blocks and cardboard, or design face masks with straws. The football stand project was intended for teachers to bring back to their students in the classroom.[13] The 49ers educational efforts are appreciated by local educators, who say the lessons are helpful with implementing new math and science standards that focus on hands-on learning, critical thinking and real-world applications of abstract concepts.[14] Outside of the stadium the STEAM Education Program teamed up with the 49ers Academy to introduce East Palo Alto youth to the concepts of science, technology, engineering, art, and math through the lens of football. The after school services this year will be the first component to a longstanding effort between the two entities to benefit the students of East Palo Alto when it comes to STEAM learning. “We believe in you and we believe that a future for everyone is a great education. We want to inspire you to be whatever you want to be when you grow up, and we’d like to help you get there. That’s why we’re going to make sure you are fired up to learn and to continue on a path of education” said York.[15]

Gun Control Efforts[edit]

“It seems insane to me that a citizen can buy something like that. I’m not anti-Second Amendment. This is something that is common sense,"[16] stated Jed, in a news conference where he pledged $500,000 to partner with big-city police unions to back gun-control measures, particularly to outlaw the “bump stocks” that significantly boosted the killing power of the shooter in the Las Vegas massacre.[17] While receiving criticism from the right, York stated, “we are all willing to take criticism if we can make people safer.[18]

Development of Levi's Stadium[edit]

Jed spearheaded a successful ballot measure for the first LEED certified NFL stadium in 2010. He secured financing in 2011 and obtained $200M of NFL support for the Santa Clara stadium (now Levi’s® Stadium) in February of 2012.[19] In June 2010, Santa Clara voters approved a measure authorizing the creation of the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, a tax-exempt public authority, to build and own the new football stadium and for the city government to lease land to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority.[20] A construction loan, raised from private investors, was secured in December 2011, allowing construction to start in April 2012.[21] Levi's Stadium opened on July 17, 2014.[21] Levi’s Stadium has become known as one of the iconic sports and entertainment venues in the world. The building has already garnered international acclaim having been named 2015 Sports Venue of the Year by the Sports Business Journal and Venue of the Year at the 2015 Stadium Business Awards in Barcelona, Spain. In just its first three years of operation, Levi’s Stadium has already successfully hosted Super Bowl 50, Wrestlemania 31, Copa America Centenario and U2, among a host of other world-class sports and entertainment events.[22]

Stadium Sustainability[edit]

Levi's Stadium received a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certificate. It is the first professional football stadium in the United States to receive this certification as new construction.[23] The stadium is currently one of the largest buildings registered with the U.S. Green Building Council. It is also believed to be the first stadium that will have both a green roof and solar panels. The 49ers are exploring collaborative opportunities with the Environmental Protection Agency to explore environmentally friendly components including:[24]

  • Use of an outside commission agent to verify that energy-related systems are installed, calibrated, and performing in compliance with the project requirements.
  • Use of public transit nearby including, VTA, ACE, Amtrak, with connection to a proposed future BART extension.
  • Construction of a green roof and photovoltaic panels.
  • Use of paving materials and roofing materials with a high solar reflectance index.
  • Use of recycled water for landscape irrigation, toilets, and urinals along with water-conserving fixtures.
  • No use of CFC based refrigerants in the HVAC systems. Systems will instead use refrigerants that minimize compounds that contribute to ozone depletion.
  • Installation of permanent monitoring systems that provide feedback on ventilation system performance.
  • Diversion, recycling, and/or salvaging 75% of non-hazardous construction waste.
  • Use of controllable and programmable lighting control systems and thermal comfort control systems.

Stadium Technology[edit]

We want to be a software-driven stadium,” York says – a cashless, ticketless place, if fans choose to go that route.[25] “You don’t want to be tech for tech’s sake, you want to make sure that you have different experiences with smartphones, tablets, and your video boards.[25] Fans can also expect personalized content related to how they want to follow the game. Fans will also be able to tap into content available only in the stadium, rather than say just the same network TV feed that the folks at home might be watching. The vision for Levi’s® Stadium has always been to provide an individually customized user experience through the use of innovative technology.[25]

Super Bowl 50[edit]

Jed also led the successful bid for hosting rights to the 2016 Super Bowl, the first to be held at Levi’s® Stadium.[26] The successful bid was delivered to the National Football League (NFL) by Tipping Point CEO and Founder Daniel Lurie and San Francisco 49ers Owner Jed York in a live pitch to 32 NFL owners in Boston.[27] It is the first Super Bowl held in the San Francisco Bay Area since Super Bowl XIX in 1985, and the first in California since Super Bowl XXXVII took place in San Diego in 2003.[28]


Jed is the founder of VenueNext, a mobile app company that started as a tech project by the San Francisco 49ers has landed $9M in financing to help it expand to about 30 more entertainment and hospitality venues.[29] VenueNext spunt out of a 49ers-backed project to create an all-purpose Levi’s® Stadium mobile app platform in time for the inaugural 2014 season at the teams facility in Santa Clara. With financial backing from investors, including 49ers CEO Jed York, VenueNext became a separate company in 2013.[29] The official Levi’s® Stadium app – which allowed fans to store a digital version of their tickets to scan at the gate – appears to be something of a success. More than 65% of the season ticket holders linked their tickets to the app.[29] Fans could also use the app to buy parking spots and order food, drinks, and merchandise for delivery to their seats. The app generated more than $1.25M worth of purchase during the season.[29]

49ers Hall of Fame[edit]

Under York’s leadership, the team instituted a new 49ers hall of fame to commemorate the significant accomplishments of some of the team’s biggest stars.[30] Named for his grandfather and the beloved patriarch of the 49ers, the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame automatically inducted those 49ers greats that have either had their jersey numbers retired by the team or have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, upon its creation.[30]


York began his working days as a financial analyst for Guggenheim Partners at their New York City offices but left after approximately one year.[1] After he quit his first job, York's parents brought him into their family owned team, the San Francisco 49ers, as the Director of Strategic Planning[1] and later promoted him to Vice President of Strategic Planning.[31]

On December 28, 2008, Jed was appointed by his father to become president of the 49ers. While Jed is the operating head of the franchise, his mother Denise is the principal owner, and both of his parents, as co-chairmen, are responsible for providing resources and maintaining their role of interacting with other owners and NFL executives.[32]

On October 11, 2010, with the 49ers off to an 0-5 start, Jed York wrote to ESPN's Adam Schefter that the 49ers would win their division and make the playoffs.[33] This proclamation led ESPN columnist David Fleming to refer to York as "kooky" and "goofy" and to note that York "backs up such bold declarations with a long list of qualifications starting with (1) his lifelong love of the 49ers, (2) his prestigious high school baseball career and (3) the fact that his godfather is Eddie DeBartolo."[34] However, the 49ers did come within one game of backing up York's assertion. In 2011, the Niners finished the season 13-3 with the 2nd seed in the National Football Conference. In the divisional round, the Niners defeated the New Orleans Saints. The 49ers then hosted the NFC Championship game against the New York Giants, eventually losing, 20-17. The success of the 2011 San Francisco 49ers was with much of the same team from 2010, but largely accomplished with the key addition of first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh.

In 2012, Jed York was replaced by Gideon Yu as Team President, although he retained the title of CEO.[35]

After a 19-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on November 27, 2014, York tweeted “Thank you 49ers faithful for coming out strong tonight. This performance wasn’t acceptable. I apologize for that.”[36] This public statement sparked a media frenzy about York's intent behind the Tweet and whether he was specifically referring to Coach Jim Harbaugh's future.

After the decision to fire head coach Jim Harbaugh, there was a large negative outcry from the media and the 49ers fan base. In a press conference addressing the issue, Jed York was quoted as saying, “It’s up to us to make sure we compete for and win Super Bowls. That’s our only goal. We don’t raise division championship banners, we don’t raise NFC Championship banners. We raise Super Bowl banners. And whenever we don’t deliver that, I hope that you will hold me directly responsible and accountable for it. And we look forward to getting this thing back on track.” [37] Commenting on York's ability to manage the critical relationship between the general manager and the head coach, Michael Rosenberg wrote in Sports Illustrated, "he failed completely."[38] Rosenberg also described York's impact on the broader 49ers organization, noting that "York has created a culture that encourages selfishness, weakness and back-stabbing." Throughout the season, there were numerous leaks to the media from within the 49ers organization criticizing Coach Harbaugh. San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami noted "York and [General Manager, Trent] Baalke were the primary sources for the off-the-record disclosures that undercut Harbaugh’s tenure."[39] It has been reported that York and Harbaugh had a clash in the personality department. The animosity between the two was exacerbated by an alleged clash between them midway through the 2014 season when York supposedly walked into a meeting Harbaugh was holding with the players. When Harbaugh noticed York walking into the meeting, he allegedly told York that the meeting was for "men only".[40]

Trent Baalke replaced former head coach Jim Harbaugh with Jim Tomsula, but Jed supported the change comparing it to the Golden State Warriors firing Mark Jackson and replacing him with Steve Kerr.[41] San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami criticized Jed's Kerr comparison in an article titled "49ers' Jed York clueless in comparing Tomsula to Warriors' Kerr." [42] Tomsula lasted one season, leading the 49ers to a 5-11 record before being fired on Jan. 3, 2016.[43] However, according to Adam Gase, it was Trent Baalke and not Jed York who decided to make Tomsula head coach instead of Gase.[44]

Soccer Investment[edit]

York ventured into soccer, investing into Sacramento Republic FC in January 2015 who play in United Soccer League, with future plans to venture into the MLS as a franchise and build a new stadium.[45] On 24 May 2018, English soccer club Leeds United announced that 49ers Enterprises had bought shares in the club to become a minority investor, the 49's Enterprises is the business arm of the NFL side San Francisco 49ers.[46][47]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Jed York". San Francisco 49ers. Archived from the original on January 3, 2017. Retrieved January 3, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Killion, Ann. "Young Jed York is growing into his role as face of 49ers". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  3. ^ "Jed York's 49ers are handling the Colin Kaepernick situation gracefully and maybe this relationship has been repaired". The Mercury News. 2016-09-09. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  4. ^ "From the field to the classroom: Pro sports teams are becoming players in math, science education". Daily News. 2017-12-19. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  5. ^ Strachan, Maxwell (2016-09-09). "The 49ers Owner Is Following Colin Kaepernick's $1 Million Lead". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  6. ^ "49ers, police unions unite for 'common sense' gun control". Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  7. ^ "Jed York's 49ers are handling the Colin Kaepernick situation gracefully and maybe this relationship has been repaired". The Mercury News. 2016-09-09. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  8. ^ "Jed York's 49ers are handling the Colin Kaepernick situation gracefully and maybe this relationship has been repaired". The Mercury News. 2016-09-09. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  9. ^ "Jed York's 49ers are handling the Colin Kaepernick situation gracefully and maybe this relationship has been repaired". The Mercury News. 2016-09-09. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  10. ^ "From the field to the classroom: Pro sports teams are becoming players in math, science education". Daily News. 2017-12-19. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  11. ^ "From the field to the classroom: Pro sports teams are becoming players in math, science education". Daily News. 2017-12-19. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  12. ^ "From the field to the classroom: Pro sports teams are becoming players in math, science education". Daily News. 2017-12-19. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  13. ^ "From the field to the classroom: Pro sports teams are becoming players in math, science education". Daily News. 2017-12-19. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  14. ^ "From the field to the classroom: Pro sports teams are becoming players in math, science education". Daily News. 2017-12-19. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  15. ^ "49ers Foundation's STEAM Education Brings Programming to Underserved Youth". Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  16. ^ "NFL protests: 49ers, police unions unite behind 'common sense' gun control". The Mercury News. 2017-10-26. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  17. ^ "NFL protests: 49ers, police unions unite behind 'common sense' gun control". The Mercury News. 2017-10-26. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  18. ^ "49ers, police unions unite for 'common sense' gun control". Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  19. ^ "Jed York | Dignity Health Foundation | San Francisco, CA". Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  20. ^ Logan, Tim. "In stadium financing game, Goldman Sachs dominates". Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  21. ^ a b "49ers' kick off move to Santa Clara with far-from-traditional groundbreaking". The Mercury News. 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  22. ^ "San Francisco 49ers: Jed York". Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  23. ^ "Stadium Becomes First US Venue of Its Kind To Earn LEED Gold Certification - Levi's® Stadium". Levi's® Stadium. 2014-07-22. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  24. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  25. ^ a b c "Sony, 49ers team up with tech for new stadium". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  26. ^ "Jed York | Dignity Health Foundation | San Francisco, CA". Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  27. ^ "San Francisco Bay Area to Host NFL Super Bowl 50 | Office of the Mayor". Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  28. ^ "San Francisco awarded Super Bowl L; Houston lands LI". Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  29. ^ a b c d "Up next for 49ers stadium app maker VenueNext? More venues". SFGate. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  30. ^ a b "Jed York - SVLG". Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
  31. ^ Matt Maiocco. "Jed York Named Team President". Press Democrat. Retrieved 2009-07-04. [permanent dead link]
  32. ^ "Jed York Named Team President". San Francisco 49ers. Archived from the original on 2009-02-12. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  33. ^ Adam Schefter. "Jed York: 49ers Will Win NFC West". ESPN. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  34. ^ David Fleming. "49ers' Jed-eye Knight Sees All". ESPN. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  35. ^ "49ers extend Baalke's deal". CSN Bay Area. February 10, 2012. Archived from the original on July 24, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  36. ^ "Jed York Tweet". Twitter. November 27, 2014. 
  37. ^
  38. ^ "49ers owner Jed York deserves blame for team's fissures, Harbaugh's exit". Sports Illustrated. December 29, 2014. 
  39. ^ "Jim Harbaugh's soulful 49ers exit". San Jose Mercury News. December 28, 2014. 
  40. ^ Goldstein, Eric (June 8, 2015). "Just a fantastic story about how much Jim Harbaugh hated 49ers CEO Jed York". Sportgrid. Sportsgrid. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  41. ^ Jared Dubin. "49ers CEO Jed York compares Jim Tomsula hiring to Steve Kerr". Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  42. ^ Kawakami, Tim (July 22, 2015). "49ers' Jed York clueless in comparing Tomsula to Warriors' Kerr". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved October 13, 2015. 
  43. ^ Yahoo Sports
  44. ^ "CBS". CBS. 
  45. ^ "Sacramento Republic FC strengthens bid for MLS franchise with new investors from NBA, NFL". SB Nation. 31 January 2015. 
  47. ^ "Ownership structure - Leeds United". Retrieved 4 June 2018. 

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