Anyone can dream, but the difference between those who achieve their dreams and those who don’t is their initiative and hard work. If you want to live the reality you’ve always dreamed of, you have to commit time, energy, and passion to accomplish it. Jake McGrady is a testimony to that. He has gone from a kid with a dream to a now a well-respectedbroadcaster and social media personality with his own community of supporters. How, exactly, did Jake accomplish this feat?
Jake’s multitude of achievements can be credited to his initiative to forge his own path towards his dreams. From a young age Jake has never shied away from the lime light. 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 since day one.
Even in his earliest memories, Jake was an earlier adapter to social media. 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 and audience.
Starting his freshmen year at Oregon State University, Jake paved his own pave using the skills he knew he already had to grow his personal brand and online identity. He combined the two things he loved: sports and being in front of the camera. He got involved with sports broadcasting and sports radio at school, where he quickly developed his skills of talking on-air and being on camera. In his first year at college he worked his way up to being the host of the Beaver Sports TV Show and launching his ‘2nd String Sports’ radio show after interning on another students show during his first term.
While at school, he also decided to create a 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 Blazersthemselves, who were already aware of his growing online notoriety. After setting up an informational meeting, the team created an internship role for him on the digital media during his last summer in college.
After graduation, Jake was determined to continue chasing his dream utilizing the platform he had created. He turned his “2nd String Sports” college radio show into the now rebranded “2nd String Show” podcast. 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’. Jake and his co-hosts have 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. What started as a Portland based podcast stemming from Jake’s online following has now developed into a show that keeps listeners invested in the co-hosts 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 program, “Blazers Outsiders” on the network. Back in college, this very same network actually turned down Jake for an internship position he applied for. Now the same network hired him as on-air talent covering the Portland Trail Blazers, pop culture, and more. It was Jake’s biggest dream coming true.
On top of his podcast, TV show and social media content, Jake and two of his closest friends launched the streetwear brand, Seven Seven which is inspired by the Portland Trail Blazers 1977 championship team. His brand has gone on to be worn live on SportsCenter by host Neil Everett, purchased by supports of the brand not only in Portland and the United States, but many other countries as well. Seven Seven has been worn by the likes of athletes and musicians, and last but not least, the brand collaborated with NBA superstar Damian Lillard to drop a two t-shirt pack for Lillard’s last Dame D.O.L.L.A. album.
It’s been a whirlwind since graduating college, but Jake has managed to stay busy, and that’s an understatement. These days Jake has continued to grow his online presence on Twitter and Instagram and many of his other online outlets.
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 legitimate career in media and entertainment through social media and lots of persistence.
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”.