Canadian rapper and Toronto native, Drake who has been a Global Ambassador for the Toronto Raptors for six years, has gone into a new partnership deal with them, as the NBA team unveils the OVO Athletic Centre, as the new name for their training facility.
Drake who has been a big part of the NBA team owned by a American-Nigerian, Ujiri, took to his social media page to say this:
Introducing the OVO Athletic Centre, the official training facility for the Toronto Raptors. ?? just wanted to add that I am so proud of my brothers and so proud to be from this city I swear this one feels like a high school dream and it’s a blessing to be able to raise up the levels and make the human mind stretch when it comes to thinking about what is possible in your lifetime!! Much love to everyone involved”
While Toronto Raptors confirming the change, Raptors President Masai Ujiri released a statement that said:
“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,”
“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 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. Raptors said.