Drake does not own the Toronto Raptors, but that has not stopped the rapper from having ownership goals. Drake’s official role with the Raptors is global ambassador. Whether Drake is on the Raptors payroll has been debated, but Pitchfork reported the rapper does not earn a salary from the franchise. Drake implies otherwise in his song “O to 100” where he speaks about the Raptors paying his bills.
“F— all that rap-to-pay-your-bill s—/Yeah, I’m on some Raptors-pay-my-bills s—.”
Drake may not own the team, but he has made it clear that it is among his top goals. Prior to the 2018-19 season, Drake posted a photo of himself in front of the Raptors logo with the caption “future owner.”
Contrary to popular belief, the group Maple Leaf Sports owns the Raptors not the rapper. Drake would not be the first rapper to have an ownership stake in an NBA team as musicians such as Jay-Z and Nelly have had a minority share of a franchise.
Is it realistic to think Drake could own the Raptors one day? Being the majority owner of an NBA franchise requires a lot of wealth. Drake has an estimated net worth of $150 million, but the Clippers sold for $2 billion in 2014.
What Does Drake Do as a Global Ambassador?
The easiest path to NBA ownership for Drake would be to have a minority stake. If he wants to own the team outright, it is going to take a lot more money to be able to keep up with the rising value of NBA franchises. NBA teams rarely are up for sale, so it would also require Drake to have enough money at the right time a team is sold.
For now, Drake will continue to enjoy his courtside seats at Raptors games as part of his role as a global ambassador. What exactly does a global ambassador do? There is not a clear job description, but the Raptors have tried to capitalize on Drake’s popularity to add a cool factor to the Toronto franchise.
There may be skeptics as to what Drake does for the Raptors, but consider this fun fact from 2014. The Raptors were fined after Drake openly recruited Kevin Durant during a concert. More recently, there were conversations with the league office after the Eastern Conference Finals to potentially have Drake moved from his courtside location. These are not the sort of things that happen to a normal superfan.
Drake’s Record Label OVO Sound Has Naming Rights for the Raptors’ Practice Facility
Drake’s record label OVO Sound has naming rights for the Raptors practice facility and the logo is on the team’s practice jerseys. Drake also inspired the black and gold alternate jerseys.
Toronto brought on Drake as a global ambassador back in 2013, but the team announced an expanded partnership with the rapper in 2018. Raptors president Masai Ujiri called Drake the “King of Toronto” during a press conference announcing his expanded role.
“We can’t do it any better than The King of Toronto,” Ujiri said, per NBA.com. “To have somebody special like this for us I think is huge. We appreciate all the support, all the support from the fans. We have to make Toronto – we have to – we have to make Toronto the best atmosphere in the NBA. And it’s becoming the best atmosphere in the NBA. I can’t wait to go to every single Raptors game, and we’re damn proud of it.”