"All I Gotta Do Is Focus": DJ Steve Porter, the Man Behind the NBA Playoffs Ads

Matt Petersen@@TheMattPetersenCorrespondent IMay 14, 2010

SAN ANTONIO - APRIL 18:  The NBA logo after a game between the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 18, 2009 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

DJ Steve Porter insists he's "just like anybody else."

That's humble stuff coming from a guy whose shoes "anybody else" would love to be in.

Porter is the man responsible for KG's "All-I-gotta-do-is-FOCUS" and commentator Mike Breen sounding like a cutting-edge hip-hop star. He's the guy who makes up for "This ain't a sandwich. It's a tortada."

He's the genius behind the NBA Amazing commercials that are definitely more interesting than the Most Interesting Man in the World.

"Really, in the 30 seconds we've got, I'm just trying to make sure there's something people can latch onto as it's going along," Porter said. "You only have 30 seconds, which is really the trick."

If that's a trick, call the guy a magician.

Despite repeated airtime during the playoffs, viewers can't get enough of his beat-based, quote-lyric commercials (see the million or so hits on the dozen variations of each commercial on YouTube ).

For Porter, a long-time Celtics fan, sports beckoned as a natural resource for his video/audio mixing abilities, which he'd already demonstrated by making an infomercial into an internet hit .

The precursor to his current success was made manifest through the YouTube sensation "Press Hop," which featured the best (or worst) of player and coach rants during interview sessions.

"Press Hop" was aired and lauded on ESPN for its originality and humor, and NBA Marketing didn't waste any time, contacting Porter last August about using his talents for their commercial run in the 2010 NBA Playoffs.

"I was just having a lot of fun with it when I first started putting it together," Porter said. "I didn't really anticipate it taking off the way it did."

The opportunity has allowed Porter to create commercials he views as "a breath of fresh air," in the midst of the over-repetitive mediocrity sports fans are forced to view during the ever-increasing number of timeouts during games.

"A lot of these ads are blitzing you with all this information and all these flashy items on the screen," Porter said. "The ads we've been doing with the NBA, I think they've been so much smoother than a lot of the stuff that's been on TV. When it comes on, it's almost like a breath of fresh air. You're not getting hit in the face with a Charmin toilet paper roll."

Porter recalled how the birth of this new genre of video/commercial came about from a desire to find a creative outlet, one that the combination of video with music created and allowed him to "find [his] niche."

"If you're into music, you have to consider all outlets," Porter said. "You have to consider advertising, ringtones, anything you need. You can't just think you're going to make music and magic is going to happen any day."

Porter went on to insist exploring outlets is key to any aspiring talent in any field.

"The same goes with anything," Porter said. "You just have to keep your mind open to as many outlets as possible and definitely set goals to achieve in as many different directions as you can."

Porter's self-made example will likely keep more talent coming to the NBA Marketing department, which is good news for the consumers. As for his work, Porter mentioned fans should be on the lookout for conference finals commercials within the coming weeks.

He probably got some ideas from Game Six of the Cleveland/Boston series, which he attended personally. Porter said Cleveland had "some matchup problems," both personnel-wise and with team chemistry as well.

Oh, and he's picking the Celtics out of the East.

"[The Celtics] are always going to the Finals in my book," Porter said.

No word on whether DJ Steve Porter's commercials will support his prediction.

Click here to listen to the full podcast interview between Matt and Steve.

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