A fun couple of weeks have concluded with JT II defeating Clean Cut Huskies 55-45 to win the RR Raptors Rebrand. You can view the high-res JT II design here.  Congratulations to Joey T. He wins a DeMar DeRozan jersey courtesy of Brian Gerstein, and on behalf of RR he gets two tickets to a Raptors game this season.

What I’ve learned from this contest is that there is absolutely no need to change the name of the team. First, many of us have a deep emotional connection with the Raptors and want to see the Raptors succeed after years of paying the dues of being a supporter. Second, a switch to Huskies ignores our recent past, and however painful that is, it must be nursed and remembered rather than forcefully forgotten. The Huskies were here before our time and they need to stay out of view because Toronto basketball is synonymous with the Raptors, not something that existed more than half a century ago. Third, designs like JT II, Fierce, and many others prove that the branding, uniforms, court design, and just about anything else can look great under the Raptors banner provided there’s creativity applied.

When we started this contest we thought we’d get maybe 5 or 6 submissions, but ended up getting many, many more, of which we selected 41. Every entrant displayed a form of creativity which we highly appreciate. Fan favourites like Paw Ball suffered due to being a lower seed in the playoff round, and concepts like Red Huskies, Nanooks, Mounties and others provided food for thought. We really would like to have given every entry some sort of prize but alas, we’re kind of poor so the best we can say is a big THANK YOU!

We’ll definitely reach out to MLSE in whatever way we can and bring their attention to this, but I’m 100% sure they’ve already seen this and have taken something out of it.

You can view all 41 entries, and the 16 that made the playoffs.

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  • UnsungHero

    Raptors is still a cheesy name. Sorry. I didn’t pick it, and wish it never it was never picked. Both the Toronto Huskies, and growing up Toronto’s CBA team the Tornados wore BLUE.

  • SR

    Raptors is cheesy, but two things resolve that: branding and winning. Two of the best brands in the league – the Lakers and the Knicks, have ridiculous names as well. “Knicks” are a pair of pants. Literally. “Lakers” isn’t even a word, and is named after a geographic region about as far away from LA as you can get while remaining in the continental US. Those franchises have overcome those challenges with a great winning history (not even that great in the case of the Knicks) and great branding. You can still earn your respect.

    Huskies is still too generic for me. (Also, for many basketball fans, Huskies = UCONN.) At least Raptors is unique. And don’t forget this franchise had NO problem selling purple dinosaur jerseys after Vince one the dunk contest.

  • RobertArchibald

    Was my favorite design from the beginning. Would buy this jersey today whether it’s the team’s actual jersey or not. Alternate is awesome. Agree that Raptors should stay as the team name. The only reason people are obsessed with changing it is because we’re constantly surrounded by negativity as Raps fans. If they’re winning we wouldn’t think twice about chanting ‘let’s go Raptors’ at playoff games. The name would become a source of pride for the city and country. Not because it’s better than other names, but because it’s ours.

  • Andre Julian Ward

    Are these going to be the actual jerseys ?

    • mike, prague

      This obviously depends on if any of the guys up top the Raptors dynasty take a brief look at this stuff and decide that they like it

      • Sig

        So, no.

  • Teepo

    I’m glad Nanooks got a shout out. I thought it was the boldest rebrand and it had a Toronto connection because the polar bears are one of the featured attractions at the zoo. Unfortunately the design submitted wasn’t photoshop professional, which is probably why it didn’t even make the playoffs. Good concept, though.

  • The Fox

    Huskies is still the better name. The only connection to the Raptors is a memory, and that doesn’t necessarily mean its the right name. Huskies just feels right….

    • Ion66

      Maybe we could compromise and be the Toronto Muskies? It’s an Ontario game fish, and does have big, nasty teeth. More teams need to be named after fish, IMHO. Maybe if Rudy Gay has an All-Star season, we could go with “Toronto Walleyes”? 🙂

  • Christian Masten

    Just FYI, Knickerbockers was a term for the Dutch settlers of NYC.

    • SR

      This is true – the Knicks are named after the settlers, who were named after the pants….


      It’s hard to believe the don’t have a Father Knickerbocker mascot (see link). New Yorkers may take themselves too seriously for that.

      • Patrick Lubin

        Mascot? Hell, no

  • Matt52

    I’m still a big fan of that boost logo.

    Nice work to the creator.

  • JT

    Thank you everyone for your votes the past few weeks and a big thank you to Raptors Republic for holding the contest!

  • morgan c

    Great work by all, and congrats to the winning designer / concept. I want to get that out of the way first, so people don’t take the wrong thing away from my comment. The winner has skills and I understand that many prefer to keep the Raptors name, etc. Again, congratulations!

    However, that said, I completely disagree with the choice and the logic employed by Zarar explaining it above. Saying that this proves that there is no need to change the team name is completely illogical, based on the fact that the SECOND MOST POPULAR CONCEPT was a new name (re: the finalist “Huskies”). It proves that 55% of people who voted don’t believe in a name change. 45% wanted Huskies. But forget that; the fact that the Huskies made it to the final and had more “clear favorite” momentum going in (based on it annihilating every other submission it went up against) alone makes it clear that there is some serious support behind this idea. Concluding that because the concept lost in a respectable match-up, while garnering a lot of support in the process, somehow “proves” that there is “absolutely no need” to change the name is curious logic at best. The rest of my response is opinion, as I disagree with Zarar’s take, but the above claim I just discussed is simply wrong. Just because Zarar personally wants to keep “Raptors” alive doesn’t mean it should be, or more appropriately, everyone else clearly agrees with him. Come on dude.

    The Raptors name from the beginning was a terrible choice. It was based on the momentum of an over-budget dated blockbuster movie, and has zero connection to the city, the culture, or anything really. And the team has been overall a large disappointment since it’s inception. Why does this failed past “need to be remembered?” For what practical (even emotional) purpose? We are one year removed from quasi-pressing the re-set button anyway, and at this point, we are no worse off than a fresh expansion team. In fact, you could make the argument that an expansion team would have a better immediate future than the Raptors, as we are filled to the cap and not a play-off team. I fail to understand how being capped out and currently a losing franchise is good in any way. I’m not all doom and gloom. Full rebuilds can occur in two seasons in today’s NBA, and I fully believe in Masai and support my team no matter what. I’m simply saying our past has no reason to be remembered for nostalgia’s sake as it relates to the team name (highlights of VC era notwithstanding), and a fresh start would probably be more beneficial.

    Finally, the “Raptors” name and franchise are a joke around the league. Many people on here read Grantland and know Zach Lowe is one of the best minds around. They profiled the Raptors team name as one of the stupidest in the NBA, having nothing to do with the city or its culture, and representing what has been, hitherto, a failed franchise. Some things are worth salvaging. A silly-from-the-start out of context team name that has coincided with a largely (not completely) irrelevant franchise history thus far is not one of them. You don’t have to love the Huskies (though I think the Canadian content, possible design / blue-white theme, nick-name team appropriateness, and even sound – ending in an “ies” makes total sense), but I think we should all be open to a possible re-branding overhaul. Now would be the time.

    Thanks for reading my comment, and obviously feel free to disagree. Again, the winner has skills and I generally like Zarar’s work. I just think the logic employed here is spurious.

    • Sig

      Well, no, not really.

      I voted for the Huskies jersey but I’m in favour of keeping the Raptors name. I voted for the jersey that I thought was most appealing.

  • Shadow Of Christ

    I grew up watching the Raptors… Vince Carter put Toronto on the map wearing the Purple, Red and Black. Kevin Durant wanted to play for the Raptors and Wiggins wants to play for the Raptors. AND the Raptors mascot is still the best league wide (that’s from the league, not from fans).

    Bottom line: This is RAPTOR country! Not Huskies country. #LetsGoRaptors #RTZ #WeBleedRedWhiteBlack

    • You grew up watching a team, not a name. Durant wanted to play for the team, not the name, and that’s the same with Wiggins. If the name changed, then you think Wiggins wouldn’t want to play for them, anymore? As for the mascot, I couldn’t care less about that. It has nothing to do about basketball. Neither the Lakers or Knicks have mascots, and they seem to be fine with that.

      Bottom line: A lot of people think the Raptor name is a little juvenile and was a bad idea from the beginning, so would like to see them get a new one.

      • Shadow Of Christ

        Every man is entitled their own opinion… You voice yours, others voice theirs… I voice mine.

        I’m proud of my home team, name and all. It’s NOT a juvenile name. It WAS NOT a horrible idea. If the name changed, I would stop supporting them, legit! I wouldn’t care if they won 10 championships in a row, I support the TORONTO RAPTORS! I don’t care if they win or lose… I’m not a fan, I’m a supporter. From day one till now, good times and bad, I BLEED RED WHITE AND BLACK!

        You don’t @Tim_W:disqus and that’s fine. You don’t have to like the name. But to me, the name is synonymous with the team. The mascot is part of the fan experience and is an extension of the team pride.

        I long for the day when the TORONTO RAPTORS make the NBA Finals. I long for the day when the TORONTO RAPTORS win the NBA Championship.

        I take pride in my team, the TORONTO RAPTORS! Period!

        • I completely agree that every person is entitled to their opinion, which is why I am not speaking in absolutes. I didn’t say that the Raptors name IS juvenile, I said that many people think it is. You are saying it is not. That’s an absolute, not an opinion.

          And why on earth would you stop supporting the team if they changed their name? Is your allegiance to them really that precarious?

          • Shadow Of Christ

            The same reason I’d lose a lot of respect for the Bulls or Lakers if they changed their name is the same way I would no longer support the team that I love, the Toronto RAPTORS, if they were to do the same. I LOVED the Seattle Supersonics, I hate the OKC Thunder. Same team, but the name carried the legacy. Same with the Hornets… I loved the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets… now they are the Pelicans.. The Pelicans?! And the Charlotte Bobcats are being renamed the Hornets… but it’s not only a different team, but a completely different legacy altogether. So as far as I’m concerned, the legacy that was once the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets is now completely shattered. Cause it’s not like New Orleans Pelicans are gonna give Charlotte all their banners and say “Well, these belong to you guys since you’re gonna be the Hornets now”.

            So, no.. my allegiance to the Toronto RAPTORS isn’t precarious at all, but ROCK SOLID! #RaptorCountry #WeBleedRedWhiteBlack #RTZ

            • The Bulls and the Lakers both have winning histories. Changing their names would make no sense.

              What’s interesting is that you seem more upset about a name change than a city change, for some reason. A city change is far more hurtful to fans than a name change.

              The Bobcats HAVE no legacy, except for losing, so I’m not sure why changing their name matters.

              I still don’t understand why you’re so attached to a name that you’d completely give up supporting the team if they changed it. It’s not as if the Raptors have a winning legacy. They’ve only made the playoffs 5 times in 18 years, only getting to the second round once.

              My guess is the reason the Raptors name won over the other ones in the original naming contest was because kids were the most likely ones to vote. Twenty years ago, there wasn’t the basketball fanbase there is now. There weren’t a whole lot of fans over the age of 25. If the contest happened two years later, they most likely would have been named something else. Leaving the naming up to a popular contest was a bad idea to begin with, quite frankly. You don’t end up with the best name. You end up with the best compromise.

              If they change the name, I will still be a fan of the team. Even if they change it to another name I don’t particularly like. I’m sorry you don’t feel the same.

              • Shadow Of Christ

                Wow! That’s pretty ignorant, saying that mostly kids made up the vote… Also, I’m not a fan of name changes OR city changes. And you’re right, the Bobcats have no real legacy to speak of, but I have a problem of them adopting a name of a team that left the city with a STRONG legacy… In my mind, that’s disrespect.

                As to your point about the Raptors, yeah, we’ve only made the playoffs 5 times in 18 years, making the East semis once AND taking home an Atlantic division title once. The Raptor have also been highly mismanaged in the last 7-9 years (Babcock and Colangelo eras). In contrast, the Grizzlies (our expansion cousins) have relatively have the same level of success as Toronto, only they have had a few better bounces (made playoffs 6 times, second round twice, West finals once). However, they took longer to do so. AND there were people calling for them to change their name as well, for similar reasons: they are losers, the name doesn’t makes sense/childish (note: Grizzlies have that name because of where they used to be, Vancouver), as well as other reasons… Did they change the name? NO! They persevered through the hard times to the point where now everyone, including those who didn’t like the name would remember the name: Memphis GRIZZLIES!

                With the Toronto RAPTORS, a name change IS NOT, repeat, IS NOT THE ANSWER! As I see it, the Raptors have been offered a clean slate of sorts… A chance to make up for the last 7 years of being relegated from “bottom feeder” to a legit player in the NBA. A chance like the Grizzlies, where no one, even haters like you, will EVER forget the name TORONTO RAPTORS!

                I don’t like the Raptors name because of sentimental reasons… I didn’t really become a fan of the Raptor until 2000, when Vince made us believe that this team can do something special… The pride of knowing that win or lose, facing the Raptors meant that teams were in for a long night… I’m a supporter of the Raptors in spite of those who have opinions such as yours Tim W… As I said, you’re entitled to your own opinion, everyone’s gotta have one… But in MY opinion I think you and fans like you are quick to the name “Raptors” out, not because it’s childish (cut the charade already), but because I believe that you, and people like you are tired of them losing and think changing the name erases all of that…

                Don’t get me wrong, I sick of the Raptors losing… 6 seasons and no playoffs is enough to make any fan mad. But changing the name DOES NOT change the team! Having the right PLAYERS, COACHES, MANAGEMENT, and most importantly, a LOYAL FAN BASE OF SUPPORTERS make for a winning situation… Not a NAME, not a NEW NAME.

                Let me ask you: suppose the Raptors did change the name and continued to lose for, lets say 20 years? Does management say: “Well this name didn’t work, let’s change it to something else… Then we’ll start winning for sure!”? OF COURSE NOT!!! IT NOT THE NAME THAT’S THE PROBLEM, IT’S THE TEAM!

                I could do this all day if I really wanted to… I’m sure you could too… You have your opinion, have mine. And in my humble opinion, I think your opinion sucks (no offence). You and fans like you really need to re-examine why you’re fans and why you are fans. But that’s just my opinion. And if you think I’m wrong, well that’s your opinion and I can’t stop you from having it.

                Grace and peace… #Raptors4Life #RaptorCountry #WeBleedRedWhiteBlack #RTZ

                • A Random NBA Fan

                  Wow! You went in Shadow! I must say, I was kinda feeling Tim for a bit, but you said it, I guess we really need to check why we want a name change… Their are worse names than the Raptors and you’re right in saying that the name doesn’t make the team better. Nice debate.

                • I didn’t say that mostly kids made up the vote. I said that was my guess based on the circumstances. Why would you disagree?

                  And, personally, I think the Grizzlies SHOULD have changed their name when they moved the team. It made no sense for them to keep the name. I still think they should.

                  As for MY reasons, I’m curious why you think you know why I want it changed more than I do? I still remember when they announced the name. I was horrified. I thought it was an awful name thought up for an awful reason. Most people I talk to who don’t have a connection with the team think the name is kind of dumb, as well. I’d like the name to be something a little more dignified. I’m under no illusions that a name change will change anything on the court. I just think if they’re talking about rebranding, then it’s the perfect opportunity to correct their original mistake. And I believe it was a big mistake.

                  You seem to be taking the idea of a name change personally, and I’m not quite sure why.

                • Shadow Of Christ

                  You’re suggesting that I’m taking a name change personally, yet you’re ever emphatic that the name Raptors was a horrible mistake… Hmmm.

                  As I said, the name is synonymous with the team. A contingent of fans don’t like it… thousands of other love it! Just saying

                • There was an outcry at the time of the naming, and the name was roundly mocked as juvenile and a bad marketing gimmick. It still carries those connotations for many people, including myself. I don’t take the name personally, because despite not liking the name, I am still a fan. If they don’t change the name, I will still be a fan. I will just be less embarrassed saying the name to other people.

                  And I think it’s more than just a small contingent of fans that would like to see the name change. The fact that the finals for the logo contest came down to a Huskies option and a Raptor option, and it was a VERY close vote, says a lot.

                  If there wasn’t such an outcry to change the name by so many people, I could see your point. But there are A LOT of people that don’t like the name.

                • SniperJoe

                  Mr @Tim_W:disqus why are you making this out to be a long, drawn out debate? @shadow_of_christ:disqus was merely stating his honest opinion. I haven’t seen pride in a team like in a long time!
                  I see where you are coming from Tim, however you have to understand is the business side of a rebrand/name change. It can be very costly, especially if it doesn’t catch on. Now I understand that we’re talking about basketball, but it’s also a business and the same risks are still there. A name cannot change just because less than half of the fan base doesn’t like it. That’s money that could be spent elsewhere.

                  To Shadow’s point, and he had a lot of them, I believe that all fans should ride out this wave until we see some improvement from a GM who actually knows how to make smart basketball decisions. I also agree that a name change doesn’t make a team better, but have the right pieces in place coupled with winning does.

                  And let be really honest, it’s real fun hearing 18000+ fans shouting “LET’S GO RAPTORS!” at the ACC. Somehow, Huskies doesn’t roll off the tongue for me, but that’s just me.

                • Shadow Of Christ

                  Not really sure how this all spiralled out of control either… Thanks for the shoutout @289616b3dd724f3d11399d72b4fed567:disqus…

                  I hope no one misunderstands me.., I’m just a rowdy, passionate Raptors fan. I’ll rep them the same way I rep my faith. That’s all…

                • I wasn’t aware it was out of control. Just two people having a polite, passionate discussion. I’m sorry you don’t feel that way.

                • It actually takes two people to have a debate. He made a comment, I responded, then he responded to my comment and so on. The comments section are here so people can have discussions. That’s why there is a reply link.

                  And at this point, we have no idea what the desire is for a name change for the team. Changing the team name may actually INCREASE the number of fans, because there could be a lot who can’t cheer for a team named after a movie craze.

                  And no one thinks a name change will have any affect on the team on the floor, so I have no idea why anyone would bring it up. That’s not the reason people want to change it. They want to change it because they don’t like the name, plain and simple.

                  Lastly, Raptors and Huskies both two syllables so will work just as well as Raptors.

                  My guess is if the name of the team was the Toronto Lollipops, there would still be people defending it in much the same way.

                • Shadow Of Christ

                  I guess out of control was a poor choice of words… DKM with Lollipops

  • Kombat99

    Congrats on the jersey contest win. And if any of you noticed the forum, it appears “gametime’s” fierce already has quite the following (http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/forums/showthread.php?10945-For-fans-that-like-the-Raptors-name-brand/page2 ) If MLSE is reading this, use that branding since it’s already being worn by fans – so much creativity on this site! (And does anyone actually know gametime? It’d be noce seeing a local rebranding the team)

    • gametime

      Definitely local. 🙂 And thanks for the support. Follow the forum & at some point I’ll post a link for placing orders

  • jjj

    The whole point to this contest was that the Toronto Star’s Logo Contest was disappointing and that “artists” could blow it out of the water! The rules were simple : Submit whatever you like logo, design concept, color palette, mocked up jersey to get point across. As far as I can see this is identical to the Toronto star contest. The winner was a computerized cut and paste of a Raptors brand. Plus JT had 1, 2, 3, 4 entries to boot. I’m still disappointed.

  • Andrew

    The Huskies should be part of the uniform, if not the main then the alternate. The city colours are BLUE AND WHITE, deal with it. Raptors was and always will be a silly name and you can go ahead and defend this ridiculous name all you want. The Huskies played the 1st ever NBA game in history, I don’t care if they played 1 game, 1 season or 100 billion games, they cemented themselves in history. The sooner you start recognising your history they better. Until then, nobody in Toronto is going to take this team seriously…look at the Blue Jays…they went back to the original uniforms, and people haven’t stopped talking about the Jays since…yeah they signed a lot of players, but overall the team doesn’t look like some mickey mouse Disney product…it looks classy. Same with the Leafs and even the Argos…

    Raptors just sounds ridiculous!

    • Kombat99

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and unfortunately you’re missing the point: after more than 2000 names were narrowed down to just 10 across ALL of Canada for the Toronto basketball franchises name, “Raptors” was the peoples choice. The people picked this name, and the people stand by the name during the hard times, not just the exciting ones. The Team “name” is not the problem, the problem is their unprofessional branding and lack of results. Fix those two things, and you’ll have the whole league on notice once again (Huskies sounds too much like “Hussies” as well).

      • I have a few problems with this. First of all, a committee narrowed down the names to just ten. We have no idea what criteria the committee used to narrow down the names, but I’m guessing marketing was a major one.

        We also have no idea who voted for the Raptor name, why they voted that way or how close the vote was. How many voted as a joke? How many were kids who voted because they thought dinosaurs are cool and Jurassic Park was their newest favourite movie? If the naming contest happened ten years later would they be named the Toronto Hobbits? If it had happened ten years earlier would they be named the Toronto Jedi? Contests like that will more often than not be the flavour of the moment, not the deserving choice.

        The problem with going with a vote is that it often doesn’t mean the best choice. Otherwise Rob Ford would be a guy no one has ever heard of. Sometimes you end up regretting the popular choice and wish it was never made.

        You say we’re missing the point, but I believe you are. People, like myself, don’t want to change the name because we think it will have some magical effect on the court. We don’t want to change the name because doing so will erase the team’s history of losing. We want to change the name because we never liked the name in the first place.

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  • alex matthews

    like it i dont know if its cause of vince but they should of brought does retro long time ago this guys ones was pretty good