When the Toronto Raptors brought on Drake as a “global ambassador” in late 2013, it felt more symbolic than an actual position of substance. But the rapper, bandwagoner and occasional courtside-seat sitter, who has become synonymous with the Canadian city, has expanded his imprint on the team since then. The Raptors added an alternate “OVO” uniform to their rotation in 2016. They’ve held multiple “OVO Nights” at the arena. And now, they’ve officially hit peak October’s Very Own.
Via their official Twitter account, the Raptors announced that they have renamed their practice facility…wait for it… the OVO Athletic Centre. The renaming comes with what looks be a bunch of OVO-themed renovations, including Drake’s signature golden owl being plastered next to the Raptors logo on the outside of the building. No word on if some of Drake’s most inspiring lyrics, such as “I don’t take naps,” and “You wasn’t with me shooting in the gym!” will be written across the facility’s walls for motivation.
“To bring new ideas is what this partnership has always been about,” Raptors general manager Ujrir Masai says in a video announcing the facility. “We were all thinking of different ways to find something new to do. Something creative, something that puts (Drake) more intertwined with our team. There’s so many ways he’s going to interact with us, the fans and moving on to many other new things.”
As Drake continues his infiltration of the Raptors, what can we expect from their partnership next? Is renaming the franchise the “Toronto OVOs” on the horizon? Will Drake get a 10-day contract? Will the Raps starting five soon just be four Drake clones and Kawhi Leonard? Anything seems possible.