The Toronto Raptors changed their practice facility from the BioSteel Centre to the OVO Athletics Training Centre, paying homage to Drake – who serves as the Raptors’ global ambassador.
OVO, or October’s Very Own, is the name of the record label founded by the Toronto-born rapper/entertainer. There is OVO branding on the building and, according to Josh Lewenberg, the musician has a key to the team’s facility.
Toronto is also celebrating the opening by dropping the OVO x Raptors Spring 2019 Collection, which is only available at their Scotiabank Arena for their next two home games. This will continue the team’s tradition of “Drake Night,” which they’ve done for the past five seasons.
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.
One large promotional shirt fans received at the door in 2014 is currently reselling for $160 on Grailed. A team jacket that wasn’t even from “Drake Night” but has a similar design is priced as high as $656.
The franchise was founded in 1995, when Drake was 8 years old. His support has played a defining role in the team’s image, as evidenced by the Raptors’ OVO-themed uniforms they wear for their City Edition jerseys.
It is no surprise that the organization is going the extra mile by putting his branding on the training facility — especially considering he already has his own locker room stall in their home arena.