We’re all looking for a hustle in a world that seems to move faster every day. We do what we have to do—but the dream of course, is to do what you love, and make money doing it, while sharing it with your community. One young entrepreneur who’s following that new dream is Jacob Ortiz of Hacienda Heights, California.
Jacob Ortiz is a member of a new wave of social media entrepreneurs and the owner of fast-moving Legion Hoops. Ortiz, who recently graduated with a BS in Business Administration with a minor in Economics from Cal Poly Pomona, is a captivating creator with a big voice, and an even bigger smile. Jacob’s found a way to mesh his love for basketball with a unique social media savviness to build a brand that’s gained a huge following over the past few years and garnered the attention of NBA stars such as Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant, among many others. Ortiz keeps it simple: Legion Hoops focuses on reporting up-to-date NBA news and rumors, showcasing viral clips, and facilitating active discussion on its socials, @LegionHoops on both Instagram and Twitter. Expect to see their updates shared around substantially during this year’s free agency period.
Ortiz purchased Legion Hoops in 2016, while still in high school at Bishop Amat Memorial in La Puente, California. As of November 2020, Legion Hoops has now amassed nearly 500,000 followers on Twitter and over 250,000 followers on Instagram. Along with the aforementioned Davis and Durant, Legion’s followers list has some serious star power: Joel Embiid, Donovan Mitchell, Chad Ochocinco, DeMarcus Cousins, and Kyle Kuzma, to name a few more. Legion Hoops averages 112 million impressions per month and 1.34 billion impressions per year across both social media platforms, and keeps growing. It recently was ranked at number 16 on HoopsHype’s (USA Today) exclusive list of social media accounts most followed by NBA players.
It’s not all hoops for Jacob Ortiz though—there’s a story behind his drive. Ask Ortiz, and he’ll freely name some figures who contributed to his rise in the NBA social media arena. His mother, Gloria Torres, continues to be his go-to for business advice.
“She’s always been an inspiration to me when it comes to taking your own business and your own livelihood into your own hands,” said Ortiz. “The work every day to do what I love and to build a community around it is my way of saying ‘thank you’ to my parents Gloria and Luis, and creating something to honor their sacrifices.”
His father Jerry Ortiz, noted in his community as a boxer, was a police officer killed in the line of duty when Jacob was 6 years old. Jacob’s love not just for basketball, but also for the essential community, the brotherhood and sisterhood we find through sports, came down from Jerry. Jerry’s legacy in his community is apparent at the Jerry Ortiz Memorial Boxing & Youth Fitness Gym in El Monte—and also in Jacob’s work. In both Legion Hoops and Jacob’s other sports media endeavors, including a new partnership with Dunk Media, Jerry Ortiz’s legacy of building up a community around that shared love of the game lives on through Jacob.
Those of us tapped into the business side of social media—one that’s extremely competitive—know that persona is king. It’s all too usual to hear about the individual who’s come up by their bootstraps, figured it all out themselves, and walked a lonely road along the way. Ortiz isn’t one of those individuals.
“Two of the mentors who gave me the chance to build something special are Chad Kehoe and Owen Egger,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz attributed Kehoe, an entrepreneur currently directing partnerships at Spectrum Medical and a former co-founder of Leaseful, with showing him the ropes when it came to getting his businesses off the ground. Ortiz spoke about Egger, a close friend from high school who’s now a technology teacher pursuing higher degrees in Educational Technology, as someone to turn to when it came to sharpening up something many of our new-age entrepreneurs overlook: the simple art of written communication.
Ortiz comes across as authentic, unabashedly himself, and always ready to credit others. He doesn’t need to tell you how successful he is—his work speaks for itself. It’s rare to find someone in this business who’s as ready to be themself as they are to give credit to those who helped build them up along the way.
Whichever side of Legion Hoops you look at, be it Ortiz’s upbringing, the latest tweets, the business partnerships—it’s clear that Ortiz’s essential gift is that of creating and celebrating communities. And maybe that’s why so many people connect with Legion Hoops. It’s not a faceless stats page spitting out numbers. Those are easy to find, easy to follow, and easy to forget about. Ortiz is in the community, on the ground, getting the inside look. He was present, for example, representing Dunk Media this November when Swae Lee’s squad took the championship at the Crew League’s $100,000 tournament. He’s a fan himself, and his content is made for fans like him.
In a social media world that’s becoming more and more about the brands and less about the players, the community, and the sport, it’s a refreshing change of pace to see someone like Jacob Ortiz paving a way for all of us sports fans to have a voice in the conversation and a seat in the crowd. Have an eye out for Ortiz and his people as they keep making waves at the top of the game. Don’t look too hard though, because you won’t need to. They’ll be there.
For any general or business inquiries, please contact Jacob Ortiz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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