It Feels Good To Be Cool
What a difference a few years can make. The Toronto Raptors have gone from the laughing stock of the NBA world to the hottest ticket in the city. They have talented young players, a fantastic coach, and a promising future. Heck, it wouldn’t be crazy to say there’s a good chance they’ll make it all the way to the eastern conference finals! Simply put, things are going great. But as their record improved so did something else, something ever more important; their cool-factor. Although their winning ways did play a role in this, the ‘6ix-God’ himself Drake lit the fire. Named the team’s Global Ambassador in 2014, Drake’s seemingly boundless popularity and OVO branding has put the Raptors back on the global map.
Drake’s involvement with the team is apparent by just skimming through his Twitter and Instagram accounts. He will frequently post photos of himself enjoying a game court-side or hanging out with the players. This means that his 50 million followers (a number quickly growing) are being exposed to the Raptors on a daily basis. The power of social media marketing is pretty incredible! This alone is a fantastic way of promoting the brand, but it doesn’t stop here. There are also ‘Drake Nights,’ home games celebrating this partnership where every fan in the Air Canada Centre receives a free OVO/Raptors shirt. The immense popularity of the OVO record label and clothing brand has made these shirts a super-hot commodity; some selling for hundreds of dollars on eBay. On top of all of this Drake frequently mentions the team, or specific players in the case of Lou Williams (‘6 Man’), in his chart-topping songs. Being that he is arguably the biggest rapper/pop star in the world at the moment, this is a pretty big deal!
So what does all this good stuff ad up to? A team that fans want to watch, and players want to play for. A team with a firm grip on the pulse of modern pop culture. A team with tons of positive buzz and energy around it. A rejuvenated Toronto Raptors brand.
It feels good to be cool…even in Toronto!