Toronto Raptors Will Reportedly Partner with Drake to Rebrand Franchise

Dan CarsonTrending Lead WriterSeptember 30, 2013

What’s that? You wanted more Drake with your sports? You got it.

After a whirlwind tour of ESPN last week, the Toronto hip-hop star is back home and has big plans for reinventing his city’s basketball team.

According to Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star, Drake and the Toronto Raptors will announce their partnership for a rebranding of the franchise Monday morning. The announcement will come along with the team's acceptance to host the 2016 All-Star Game.

TORONTO - OCTOBER 28:  Canadian Hip Hop artist, Drake, shows his love for the game sitting courtside during the contest featuring the Toronto Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers on October 28, 2009 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  NO
Ron Turenne/Getty Images

What kind of reinvention should fans expect? The sky is the limit, according to the Raptors, who are bringing the 26-year-old Toronto native on board as a business partner and consultant, among other things. 

The partnership will be a labor of love (and money) for Drake, who has been a staple at Raptors games and a loyal fan of the franchise for some time.

“I am a Raptors fan to the death,” Drake told ESPN's Matthew Glenesk in 2010. Considering the team went 40-42 in the 2009-10 season, it wasn’t an easy or pandering admission. 

The Raptors are focused on the future, however, and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment plans to use Drake as the driving force for creating a new image for the franchise.

Almost everything is on the table for the rebranding process, according to the Toronto Star's report. Drake will be consulting the team on ways to pump up and re-envision the brand and reportedly will design a new clothing line in collaboration with the Raptors. 

TORONTO, CANADA - NOVEMBER 30: Recording artist Drake looks on during the game against the Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors on November 30, 2012 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees th
Ron Turenne/Getty Images

Put simply, it’s the Jay Z model at work in Toronto. The American hip-hop mogul bought into the New Jersey Nets and helped create a new persona for the team as it moved to Brooklyn. Drake will be trying to do the same thing with the Raptors, with only one stipulation—no name change.

The only thing off limits to Drake’s creative licensing will be the “Raptors” name. So no, fans won’t be cheering for the Huskies or Owls. 

So there you have it—for better or worse, October’s Very Own and the Raptors will be partnered up for the foreseeable future. Maybe things will get better for the franchise, which started at the bottom and is still right there. 


Join me on Twitter for more sports news.