The Toronto Raptors announced they would be hosting the NBA All-Star Game in two years. But during that same press conference, they said they will go with a complete rebrand of their identity, but will not change the team name. Toronto native and rapper Drake will help with the rebrand.
This isn’t a big deal as the Brooklyn Nets used Jay Z’s influence for their rebrand and I think it’s totally find. However, the problem with this is that there was no clarity as to what this means for the team mascot.
Since its inception, the Raptors have used a dinosaur for their mascot and logo. After all, the velociraptor was a very popular dinosaur after the release of Jurassic Park. However, the term “raptor” actually means “bird of prey” and that could mean the team could use that definition.
Take a look at what is considered raptors. They are birds. Now take a look at the image of Drake above. That’s his OVO owl logo he uses. Would Drake use his owl as the basis of this rebrand?
It’s still technically a raptor, but not the raptor dinosaur that we’ve grown accustomed to over the years. Will we say farewell to the dinosaur and welcome in a bird?
This is not the first time it’s happened in sports. You can look back as recently as five years ago when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays shortened their name and replaced their original look of the a sting ray with a ray of sunshine. Their team name had a double meaning and they took that route.
The Raptors name may or may not be a great name that people have embraced. I personally love it but does it represent the city better? Does an owl or an eagle work better for the team? Knowing Drake’s love for the owl, this might be the final years of the dinosaur in Toronto.