It’s a well-known fact that Drake is a huge Toronto Raptors fan. He’s spotted in his courtside seats for the bulk of the team’s games and has been a common sight during the 2019 NBA Finals. But while Drake is a big fan of the Raptors, he’s also much more than that, and the same can be said about his OVO brand as well.
The rapper is the official Global Ambassador for the Raptors and has been since 2013, as Josephine Cruz of Complex.com points out. But even going one step beyond that, the relationship between Drake and the NBA franchise took an interesting step forward just months ago, in March of 2019.
As the team revealed on Twitter, their practice facility was renamed the OVO Athletic Centre, tying it to Drake’s popular brand.
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Raptors President Masai Ujiri Talks Drake & OVO Brand
The connection between the Raptors and Drake is one which is incredibly public and for good reason. Together, the two have done some positive things in the community and also drawn plenty of additional attention to the franchise. Raptors owner Masai Ujiri had nothing but praise for the partnership after the naming rights deal for the practice facility was revealed, per Complex.
“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,” said Raptors President Masai Ujiri. “With each step of our partnership over the last five and a half years, we have worked together to build a winning basketball program in Toronto and deliver for our fans and our community. This new naming rights deal for our training facility is a perfect example of the strength of this partnership and the innovative opportunities it can generate.”
It doesn’t appear the partnership’s growth will slow down in the near future, and Drake will continue throwing his full support behind the franchise. And as we now know, he has a connection with the Raptors which goes beyond just having courtside seats.
Drake’s Relationship With Raptors & OVO Athletic Centre
While Drake and the brand are now officially linked with the Raptors, his impact has gone beyond just the franchise and their on-court outlook. The ‘Welcome Toronto’ program created by Drake and the Raptors helped donate $1 million to refurbish local basketball courts and also send $2 million to Canada Basketball.
As far as the training facility which was previously called the BioSteel Centre, it’s a 68,000 square foot building with two floors. The NBA detailed the facility previously, and it boasts two full-size courts, a medical and rehab center, larger fitness room and player lounge, among other things.
The two-storey, 68,000 square foot BioSteel Centre features two full size courts, including six baskets; state-of-the-art locker rooms with individual TV monitors above each locker; a large fitness, weight room and training area; an extensive medical and rehabilitation area, including cold and hot tubs and an underwater treadmill; and a player lounge with a full service kitchen and dining room.
It appears to be quite the practice center, and it’s likely Raptors players spend plenty of time there throughout the year. Whether Drake can be spotted there is unknown, but he’s likely been around it more than a few times.