The Toronto Raptors and OVO released additional information on the continued partnership between the brands as part of the Welcome Toronto project on Wednesday. As reported here last week, the first two Welcome Toronto/OVO Nights this season will take place on Jan. 26 and Jan. 28, including a new black-and-gold court and the team’s fourth jersey. Wednesday’s announcement reveals that the partnership will go beyond just the Drake-themed nights at the Air Canada Centre.
“Over the past four years, the Raptors’ relationship with Drake has always ultimately been about celebrating this city and the people that make it unique,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a release. “We have something very special happening in Toronto and Drake is a big part of that. We’re looking forward to this opportunity to continue working together to inspire and support young people, to showcase this great city around the world and to grow the game of basketball.”
“As this team and Toronto continues to grow, we have seen how much we can do together,” Drake said. “Welcome Toronto is about celebrating our team and our city, but also working together to give back to the community and creating a place where the youth of our city can come together to play. These same courts could also potentially shape the next generation of Canadian basketball superstars.”
The partnership will aim to give back to the city’s basketball community and deliver a unique in-game experience for fans on those nights. Chief among the highlights is that the Raptors and OVO have pledged to donate $1 million over the next three years to refurbishing local courts, plus $2 million over the next five years to Canada Basketball. In each of the next three years, four local community courts will be selected for capital investment, with the first locations announced later this month.
The program will also “celebrate the future of art, culture and basketball.”
Along with the two dates reported last week, the Raptors confirmed that the other four “Welcome Toronto” nights listed on their events page will make up the rest of the OVO Night schedule. Jan. 26, Jan. 28, Feb. 2, March 9, March 23, and April 6 are those dates.
You can read more about the project here, and the Raptors are teasing more information to come tonight.
Now, when Drake drops a “Welcome Toronto” album the morning of Jan. 26…