Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Drake rebrand: Raptors turn practice facility into OVO Athletic Centre

Drake rebrand: Raptors turn practice facility into OVO Athletic Centre

He has been the Raptors' Global Ambassador for nearly six years, and now the partnership between Grammy award-winning artist Drake and Toronto's National Basketball Association team is taking on a new dimension: the Toronto Raptors Training Centre will now be known as the OVO Athletic Centre.

Ujiri flew to Manchester, England, where Drake is now on tour, to deliver him a key to the newly named practice facility, per TSN's Josh Lewenberg.

"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", Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a statement.

The Raptors unveiled the new name Thursday, announcing that the BioSteel Centre will now be dubbed the OVO Athletic Centre.

Even though Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant infamously did not care about Toronto's "Drake Night" when they faced the Raptors in 2016, the pop culture icon certainly keeps fans interested.

"It's very unique", Ujiri said of the partnership, which was an obvious choice given Drake's connection to Toronto and basketball fans.

Drake has been involved in planning for the 2016 All-Star Weekend at Scotiabank Arena (then Air Canada Centre), the launch of the "We The North" campaign and an OVO-inspired alternate uniform.

He may not make it out to many games these days, but Drake's influence on the Toronto Raptors appears to be stronger now than ever before. The club has also partnered with OVO in the past to release an "OVO Edition' jersey, as well as OVO-themed Raptors apparel". He went from the sidelines to the locker room in December when the team revealed that Demar DeRozan's vacant locker had finally been reassigned.

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