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  • Writer's pictureDamian Burgess

Marking 25 years in style for Toronto

Celebrating NBA title to start team’s 25th anniversary season gives the Toronto Raptors a double marketing opportunity this season.

What do you get when the Raptors’ NBA championship celebration intersects with its 25th anniversary season? An unprecedented occasion for the club’s marketing department to dial up its imagination. A dream for any marketing team!!!

Plans for this distinctive season include a popup museum and replica championship rings for the fans inside. A series of 95-Rewind nights will refashion the original hardwood court from the team’s first season, as well as the white 1995 jersey. Possibly the best jersey in the NBA!!!!

The club didn't go with the traditional idea of a 25th-anniversary logo. It wanted to break from what it calls a “sea of same,” NBA teams that have commemorated milestone seasons with conventional logos featuring block numbers, roman numerals or flowing banners. Instead of a logo, the Raptors will promote a simple gesture they hope fans across Canada will flash with their two hands – a 25. One hand holds up two fingers, like a peace sign; the other holds up five fingers.

“We pride ourselves on being different,” said Jerry Ferguson, senior director of marketing at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, as he stood beside a row of posters in a suite at Scotiabank Arena, to unveil the creative direction for the Raptors season. “We wanted to find a way for it to be participatory for our fans, and not just give them a logo that they can get on a T-shirt or hat.”

MLSE’s marketing team hopes that fans, who embraced the We The North battle cry, find their own unique ways to adopt the two-handed gesture – using it in selfies, making it with anything from emojis to foam fingers.

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