The 2023-2024 NBA season is on, and everyone is ready for action and the drama this new season will bring. Several NBA analysts think this year is the year of the Suns. Will the addition of All-Star guard Bradley Beal to the stellar roster, anchored by All-NBA guard Devin Booker and future Hall of Famer Kevin Durant, bring in the hardware when the final buzzer rings? If so, there will be more work for the team's Senior Director of Live Presentation, Shawn Martinez, who oversees in-game entertainment.
We spoke to Shawn about his background, how he landed in the world of sports after over three decades as a DJ, and how music plays a crucial role in bringing the ultimate Phoenix Suns experience to their avid fans.
Watch the full interview below.
Shawn grew up on the Navajo reservation and fell in love with the art of disc jockeying at a very young age.
"It's been an amazing journey how I got to this point because I came back home – I grew up on the Navajo reservation, and music has been number one in my life," Shawn said. "I started on a turntable and an old school mixer carrying six records crates."
Thirty-six years later, Shawn is still making people move and groove, not in his college dorm anymore, but in one of the NBA's biggest stages: Footprint Center.
"Being able to tie music to my job was number one," Shawn said. "As a game director, you kind of are like a DJ. You have the script, and you're ready to go, but it could change because you're feeling the moment of what's happening within the game, or something happens in the crowd; you always have something that can amplify those big moments."
Shawn ensures that in every game, the fans feel good, have fun, and want to return and experience the joys of being at a Suns game. This is where his partnership with APM Music is critical because he has at his disposal APM Music's vast catalog of tracks in every genre from every era in any conceivable mood.