Behind the Scenes Look at Interview with Grizzlies’ Jason Potter

This week’s “Standout” profile was on Jason Potter, director of promotions and event presentation for the Memphis Grizzlies.

The piece elaborated on how Potter loves Memphis’ access points and how his team strives to put their own creative spin on in-arena entertainment. Here’s some more from our conversation that didn’t make it into print:

On what inspires him everyday from a creative standpoint:

First off, I’m just a fan to begin with. Of course, I’m at every home game, but I watch every second of every road game. We all as a team here in the office kind of hang on this stuff as much as our most passionate fans. I think that’s what’s helping us experience some success with the promotions. But outside, I like to look at across industries, not just in sports, how people are breaking from the mold and how people are getting attention in new ways, often with old things. I think the best ideas and the best we do kind of innovating is when we look outside of sports at successful promotions and marketing. You can’t limit yourself to sports. And then staying current with pop culture and music and movies and just whatever the national water cooler conversation is helps us in the office have laughs and come up with ideas.”

On game-day superstitions:

I have 1,000 game day superstitions. From the route that I walk from my office to the court, to a particular time in the afternoon that I will call my wife to check in, to a certain phrase I tell our video crew at the end of every one of our production meetings – ‘break a leg’ – the game can’t happen if I don’t do that; I’m just beside myself. It’s fun because athletes you hear in sports of a lot of their superstitions. I think fans have their own superstitions too and it’s no different from the working staff. Everyone has their game-day routines and I think that everyone believes that their routine impacts the outcome of the event no matter how silly that might seem. It’s fun and I think it helps us focus as a staff our own personal superstitions focused on being prepared and kind of keeping each other accountable and ready. I think it’s natural and healthy and it’s a fun part of the experience.”

On the correlation between loud and excited fans and the Grizzlies winning:

I think it’s a strong correlation. It’s hard to quantify, but I think that anyone can appreciate that energy kind of begets energy. The players are the primary people that get the audience excited. I think that’s the first and most important thing to establish is that our crowd really responds well to exciting basketball. But what we do, I think what our team is responsible for and has gotten to be very good at is enhancing those moments. So if an excitement happens and a time-out is called, we feel that it’s our job to maintain and build that energy during the stop and play so that when play resumes, the players can still feed off the energy that they created. And hopefully it’s even louder. That’s the most fun aspect of our job is stoking the fire in the fans and really when a good moment happens, making it a great moment. I think that’s kind of where we come in. It’s our job to kind of enhance what the team is doing and build.”

On his favorite Grizzlies player:

I enjoy different guys for different reasons. I think as a Memphian, I love seeing ZBo do his thing. I love Tony Allen and his spirit and energy. I love seeing Marc Gasol and Mike Conley and all of the guys work. I think what’s fun about what we do is we get to see some of the things that they do off the court that are behind the scenes and that they don’t try to take credit for. It helps you see the guys as individuals and really the time they do with things at St. Jude and stuff like that. We had a patient out this week that Marc Gasol went out of his way to go visit at the hospital. Things like that that don’t get reported that it’s really fun to see. I think all of the guys on our team have a good appreciation of the impact they can have in the community and are cognizant of using that well. I love them all.”

Dansette

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