Raptors and OVO Elevate Partnership with OVO Athletic Centre Naming Rights Deal
He has been the Raptors’ Global Ambassador for almost six years, and now the partnership between Grammy award-winning artist Drake and Toronto’s NBA team is taking on a new dimension: the Toronto Raptors Training Centre will now be known as the OVO Athletic Centre.
“Drake and OVO are an important part of our city’s landscape, our team’s identity, and our plans to bring a championship to Toronto,” said Raptors President Masai Ujiri. “With each step of our partnership over the last five and a half years, we have worked together to build a winning basketball program in Toronto and deliver for our fans and our community. This new naming rights deal for our training facility is a perfect example of the strength of this partnership and the innovative opportunities it can generate.”
The renaming of the training facility, opened in February 2016 and one of the premier team facilities in the NBA, will see prominent OVO Athletic Centre signage inside and outside the facility, interior redesign elements that reflect the Raptors and OVO brands and the Raptors practice jerseys featuring the OVO owl logo on the upper left chest.
The new OVO practice jersey will be available for purchase later this off-season. A limited amount will be available through a contest on the Raptors app, otherwise fans are encouraged to enter their name on waitlist to be notified when the jersey becomes available later this summer.
“OVO is excited to expand our partnership with the Toronto Raptors,” said Oliver El-Khatib. “Sports are central to the culture of OVO and have the great quality of connecting people from all walks of life. This facility represents our commitment to invest in the future of sports and young athletes in Toronto.”
The Raptors and Drake originally unveiled his role as team Global Ambassador in September 2013 as the NBA announced that Toronto had been awarded the 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend festivities. Drake was heavily involved in All-Star Weekend planning, as well as plans to rebrand the team including the launch of the ‘We The North’ campaign, an annual ‘Drake Night’ and an OVO-inspired alternate uniform.
In January of last year, Drake and the Raptors announced six ‘Welcome Toronto’ and OVO-themed home games each season, with the Raptors wearing their OVO-edition uniforms and a new black and gold home court for each game. The Welcome Toronto program also sees Drake and the Raptors donate $1 million to refurbish local community basketball courts and another $2 million to Canada Basketball.