Raptors Unveil New Uniforms

by Soheil Jamshidi

The Toronto Raptors on Thursday unveiled three of the five uniforms the team will wear in the 2020-21 season, showcasing simple but bold design, elements that weave together the lineage of previous uniforms, and a subtle nod to the franchise’s origins.

The now-familiar “north” pointing chevron remains a key element of the latest editions – it was first introduced on the jersey side panel in 2015-16 as part of the team’s rebrand. The new Association and Icon Edition jerseys – white and red – both feature a chevron across the chest, meant to symbolize the north, represent the team’s past achievements, and mark the path forward. 

The new uniforms are reminiscent of the red Earned Edition jerseys worn for much of the 2019 postseason season and which the team sported on court the evening they captured the franchise’s first NBA Championship. 

 “Uniforms do matter to players. Our team made the choice to wear the Earned jerseys during the 2019 Finals, for example,” Raptors President Masai Ujiri said. “We want to give our players - and our fans - jerseys they’re proud to wear not just because they say Raptors on the front, not just because they’re a symbol of our city and country, but because they also look great. I think that’s what we’ve achieved with these.”

The Statement Edition jersey - black with red accents – tips the hat to the Raptors’ original “dinosaur” uniforms by running dark grey jagged pinstripes through the design. It will also be the only one of the five uniforms that has the Jordan Brand Jumpman logo on the right shoulder, replacing the Nike swoosh. 

The concept was a collaborative effort between MLSE’s in-house design team and Nike. The new threads are comprised of recycled PET bottles, a combination of Alpha Yarns and recycled polyester. Each uniform represents approximately 20 recycled bottles. 

“As we began to think about the decade ahead, we aimed to create uniforms that not only reflected our franchise’s historic accomplishment in 2019 but also inspired the pursuit of our next championship,” MLSE Chief Marketing Officer Shannon Hosford said. “Our goal was to continue to evolve our ‘We The North’ Raptors brand identity highlighting our key chevron design, which is synonymous with the North and our championship, while also providing our fans with some added swagger while they show their support.”

As Official Partner of the Toronto Raptors, Sun Life’s logo will appear on the left shoulder of each of the team’s jerseys for the fourth consecutive season.  

The NBA and Nike eliminated traditional “home” and “road” uniform designations prior to the 2017-18 season and created four core uniforms for each team classified as “editions” - Association, Icon, Statement and City. Home teams pick which of their uniforms will be worn at all home games and visiting teams choose a contrasting uniform within their own assortment. 

Prior to the 2018-19 campaign, the NBA and Nike added the Earned Edition uniform as a fifth option for all 16 teams that made the playoffs from the previous season. The uniforms are colour variations of each team’s Statement or City Edition jerseys.

The Raptors’ Association and Icon Edition jerseys are available for sale now, while the Statement Edition uniform is coming soon. Fans can purchase the new jerseys and learn more about the design story at north.Realsports.ca. The City and Earned Edition designs will be unveiled closer to the start of the upcoming season.

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