Raptors Set To Celebrate Chinese New Year With Alternate Uniforms

Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com

The Toronto Raptors are looking forward to suiting up in an alternate uniform for the NBA's Chinese New Year Celebration. The team will wear the uniforms on Jan. 29 against the Orlando Magic and Jan. 31 against the New Orleans Pelicans. Toronto joins the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards in wearing the specially designed uniforms as the league celebrates the holiday from Jan. 26 to Feb. 11 in the sixth annual NBA Chinese New Year Celebration.

Toronto’s Chinese New Year uniforms are red to match the Chinese New Year lucky colour. The front of the jersey has the Raptors logo along with white font inspired by the original team jersey’s front. A dragon head is incorporated within the font design as “Raptor” and “Dragon” share the same Chinese character. The three Chinese characters on the front of the jersey are a direct translation of “Toronto” in Mandarin.

While the jerseys feature Mandarin characters, the red shorts are the team's original uniform shorts, featuring the white maple leaf in the middle of the waistband to signify the Raptors as Canada’s team.

“We have a growing Chinese following in the Toronto area and across Canada,” said Mark Blanchard, Director of Merchandise at MLSE. “Wearing these uniforms to honour Lunar New Year is a really exciting opportunity for us to engage these fans and to educate the rest of our fan base about this special time of year. It’s also a great way to show our fans another dimension of the Raptors and to create some visibility with these designs in the community.”

Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar with the beginning falling on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Jan. 28 marks the beginning of Chinese New Year 2017.

In addition to the uniforms, the NBA also unveiled an NBA Chinese New Year television spot featuring Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, James Harden and Jeremy Lin. Fans will also be able to watch a record 60 games featuring all 30 teams over 17 days.

“The NBA Chinese New Year Celebration has become a wonderful occasion for the league to celebrate and connect with Chinese fans around the world,” said NBA China CEO David Shoemaker. “We are delighted that our teams and players have the opportunity to bring joy and excitement to our fans as they celebrate the holiday with their families.”

Chinese New Year apparel will be available at the Toronto Raptors Store Powered by Real Sports Apparel which is located at Gate 1, Air Canada Centre. The collection is also available online and can be viewed and purchased by clicking here.