Technology and social media has permeated and revolutionized just about every industry. It is abundantly clear that we are living in an era where anything and everything is possible when enough effort and time is put forth to understand and utilize the power of social media. The idea of fame and success has been redefined by the younger demographic of entrepreneurs and creators who harness the ability to think beyond traditional media. Welcome to the digital age.
If you want to achieve your dreams and make a name for yourself, you must commit time, energy, and passion to accomplish it and always “shoot your shot” as Jake would say. Jake McGrady is a testimony to that. He has gone from a kid with a dream to an entrepreneur, TV host and social media personality with his own community of supporters.
From a young age Jake has never shied away from the limelight. Growing up in Oregon, he was heavily involved with acting and performing. From school plays, talent shows, stand-up comedy, acting in TV shows and films, to creating his own comedy sketches and short films for YouTube. He has always known that he wanted to be in front of the camera and create content since day one.
Even in his earliest memories, Jake had a fascination with social media and everything digital. When he would create content or finish a film, he would promote it on every social media platform, slowly but surely learning how to grow an audience.
As a freshman at Oregon State University, Jake started to pave his own path in the world of broadcasting and digital media on campus through his involvement with KBVR TV and radio. Using his knowledge of social media and content creation, he knew he had separate himself from other students to grow his personal brand and online identity. Through his love of sports and film, Jake quickly started to learn and develop his skills of talking on-air and being on camera as a host and journalist. In his first year of college, he worked his way up to being the host of the Beaver Sports TV Show and launched his own ‘2nd String Sports’ radio show.
While at school, he also decided to create an online project based on the one thing he loved the most that wasn’t a secret to anyone: the Portland Trail Blazers. Through Twitter and Instagram, his “Mr. Portland” persona was born. From there, he started to build a loyal following of fellow Rip City fans through his unique sense of humor and online content. Deciding to take matters into his own hands and “shoot his shot”, he started to reach out to the Portland Trail Blazers themselves, who were already aware of his growing online notoriety. After setting up an informational meeting, the team created a role for him on the digital media during his junior year of college.
After graduation, Jake was determined to continue chasing his dream by utilizing the platforms he had created. He turned his “2nd String Sports” college radio show into the now rebranded “2nd String Show” podcast, growing into a sports and pop culture commentary show. As Jake continued to grow as a creator, so did his content and so did his following.
Jake began using social media to reach out to potential guests to have them on his podcast. In college Jake and his co-hosts had interviewed plenty of college athletes, coaches and media personalities on the show. However, as the podcast began the grow, sports wasn’t the only focus anymore. The first high profile guest appearance on the podcast was the now Grammy award winning band, ‘Portugal. The Man’. As the podcast continued to grow, the group has branched out into the music industry, interviewing the likes of iLoveMakonnen and popular concert photographer Jake Chams. The trio has now gone on to interview the likes of professional athletes, musicians, media personalities, and many more.
What started as a podcast with a local following had quickly grown into a show that had fans from all over the world. The show went from a Portlandbased podcast stemming from Mr. Portland’s online following has now developed into a show that keeps listeners invested in the co-host’s lives, as well as their outlandish opinions and takes on everything sports and pop culture.
As Jake continued the grow the podcast, he also continued creating content as ‘Mr. Portland’ around the Portland Trail Blazers. In 2018, NBC Sports Northwest reached out to Jake and wanted him to come in and do a screen-test for an unknown project at the time. This would eventually lead to Jake getting the role as a co-host on the TV show, “Blazers Outsiders” on the network. Back in college, NBCSNW had turned down Jake for a social media internship position with the network. That very same network then hired him as on-air talent covering the Portland Trail Blazers, pop culture, and more. Full circle moment.
On top of his podcast, TV show and social media content, Jake and two of his closest friends launched the streetwear brand, Seven Seven. The brand was inspired by the Portland Trail Blazers 1977 championship team and has grown into a streetwear brand inspired by pop culture and basketball. The brand had gone on to be purchased by supporters not only in Portland, but all over the US and other countries as well. Seven Seven has been worn live on SportsCenter by host Neil Everett and supported by the likes of pro athletes and musicians. Jake’s goal is to continue branching out of the Portland bubble with a successful transition to mainstream streetwear. The brand has collaborated with NBA superstar Damian Lillard for his Dame D.O.L.L.A. album as well as Gary Payton II of the Golden State Warriors and more.
Jake’s biggest motto is “always shoot your shot.”
No one is going to hand you anything if you just sit around wishing your dreams would come true. Create your dreams yourself and make them come true. Create your own platform, create your own audience, be your own boss. Jake found a unique way to turn his passions and dreams into a legitimate career in media and entertainment through social media and lots of persistence.
The journey from being an unknown dreamer to a local celebrity took years of commitment and sacrifice. Jake found a unique way to turn his passions and dreams into a career, yet he is still always hungry for more.
He has conquered the local media scene, but he now has his sights on breaking into the national media scene with many projects on the horizon. If his track record so far should tell you one thing, it’s that he will always find a way to make it happen. Get familiar with the name “Jake McGrady”.