The Toronto Raptors will don a colour they’ve never worn before for tonight’s game against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers; it’s the first in a series of black-and-gold uniform games inspired by musician and Raptors’ “Global Ambassador” Drake.
Much like the Raptors alternate uniforms of the last eight years or so, they’re black, it’s the trim colour which is new to the franchise. For the first time gold accents will be worn across the jersey wordmark, down the sides of the jersey, around the collar, and down on to the shorts.
“Drake has added a whole new orientation to the Raptors and that is to the millennials,” PhD Marketing professor Alan Middleton of the Schulich School of Business at Toronto’s York University told Sportsnet.ca in August 2015. “He’s made them relevant with their core fan base, but beyond that he has transitioned to a broader Canadian pride. The relationship is both to his benefit but to the benefit for the Raptors. They expose each other to unique fans across economic and social lines.”
The Raptors have been playing the Drake connection as far as they can in recent months, the uniforms tonight are about as far as you can go (short of having Drake suit up himself to take a few garbage time free throws). The team has also been selling merchandise designed by Drake and his fashion brand calling it the “OVORaps Collection“:
Yeah, they’re nice, really anything Mitchell & Ness will be, but those are some expensive items. If you’re into the black-and-gold and don’t want to spend $65 on a t-shirt the Raptors will be giving out free OVO-themed sweatshirts and headbands to a limited amount of fans attending tonight’s game.