The Toronto Raptors had announced that rapper and TO-native, Drake, would be the host of the 2016 All Star Weekend held in Toronto, which would only be one of his roles with the team. Following the blueprint made by the Brooklyn Nets, who underwent a major brand/image overhaul by moving from New Jersey to BK, and had Jay Z at the helm, the Raps have brought on Drizzy to oversee the team's new branding.
At a press conference today, MLSE CEO, Tim Leiweke, and new GM Masai Ujiri, introduced the YMCMB rapper as the new "Global Ambassador" for the Raptors. He will be instrumental in assisting with the new branding, which will include new colors, but the team name will remain the Raptors. While they haven't revealed exactly what events are in store, Leiweke says the team will give Drake as much control over All Star Weekend as the league will allow it.
"There’s a reason why we are going to submit to the league a new application for a new branding, a new image, new colors — not a new name, but new branding, and Drake will be an ambassador and help us forge this new vision, this new buzz, this new excitement where we are taking this organization,” [...]
"We're going to try and do some different things here, with the NBA," Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, said."You're going to see us try to add a few elements to the all-star game that's never been done, heavily influenced and directed by Drake.
"We're committed to making sure that he puts as much of a footprint on the all-star week as the NBA will allow us to." [...]
During the press conference Drake was asked what players he would try to "lure" to Toronto, but he said he's learning quickly and chose to not answer that question, which drew laughter and applause from the league's next commissioner David Silver. Talking about his role, the rap icon said it's important to him to not only spread his love of the NBA Raptors, but for his city of Toronto.
"I traveled the world performing, and everywhere I go, I preach the gospel that is Toronto. I love this city with all my heart. I just want to let you know that I'm extremely excited to be part of a team that I grew up as a die-hard fan of...I'm excited for the new vision, and I think All Star 2016 is a phenomenal step, something I dreamed of as a kid."