View Poll Results: Is MLSE Over-Canadianizing The Raptors

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Thread: Is MLSE "Over-Canadianizing" the Raptors?

  1. #1
    Raptors Republic Rookie Jordan-Drexler's Avatar
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    Default Is MLSE "Over-Canadianizing" the Raptors?

    First and foremost I am Canadian, True North Strong and Free, born and bred TO, so don't flame me for being anti-Canadian.

    In the last 10 years I've noticed that MLSE has been making subtle changes to the Toronto Raptors that had me scratching my head. Its been the inclusion of features and things that made me notice the abundance of Canadian themes.

    I call this the Canadianization (like Americanize) of the Raptors.

    1) Changing the Colours from primarily purple to a Red-White Canada scheme (I personally
    liked the purple/black better)
    2) Inclusion of the Leaf on the back of the away black jersey's. (First inclusion of any
    national symbol for any nba team i.e no other team has an american star/eagle/etc)
    3) Hiring the First Canadian Head Coach in NBA History to the Raps
    4) Rebranding the RaptorsTV Channel to NBA TV Canada
    5) Removal of the claw entirely from the raptors Jersey with the replacement of the leaf
    (see new home jersey)
    6) The "diversification" of the roster because "Toronto is such a wonderful Diverse City
    and our GM thinks that the roster should reflect that"

    Now the reasons why MLSE could have done this is to appeal to more fans in canada, and make more money. While this may be good for MLSE profit I don't think its good for the raptor's Franchise or Canada Basketball. Here's why:

    The team is the TORONTO raptors not the Canada Raptors, the Toronto Canucks, or the Toronto Habs ;-) . That should focus on the greatness of the City of T.Dot not where it is. It creates a generalization of all Canadian cities, int that they're all the same as TO (otherwise it wouldn't represent them all), when clearly they're not (ie Montreal and Vancouver) and removes them as potential home cities for other teams. (Imagine if all of canada had to be represented by the Leafs ). Common rhetoric against further expansion or relocation is "but Canada ALREADY has a team".

    Players focus on the Canadian aspect of the team rather than the team itself. We all know players look at the geography of a team as a deciding factor ie. (Mr."Ill take my talents to South Beach" cough*Cough*). This favors warmer climates like LA and Orlando to places like New York, Chicago. Yet teams further north have had success building contenders despite location, ie Detroit Pistons(it gets cold here Damn It) and even the Boston C****ics. Thats because they focus on the team and not where it is.

    I always say Winners go where Winners are, so unless TO shocks the world and goes to the finals this year, I doubt good players will flock to come here based on the argument "We're friendly up here Eh" (btw Eh is a stereotype we don't all talk like that). It should be the name on the front of the Jersey that should be most Important, nothing else.

    Regardless of whether you like the new colour changes to the jersey, or the new design, or think Jay is the Best coach for the team you can't ignore these evidences of an increase in Canadian themes and an overall Canadianization of the Toronto Raptors.

    So what do you think, are MLSE over-Canadianizing the Rap's, do you approve, or does it even matter?

    This has J-D tellin you to keep your "glyde" on
    What if... Blazers had drafted both Drexler, Jordan?

    From 1992 Beginner's Guide to the NBA Finals, The Oregonian's special section. Published 6/3/1992.

    Michael Jordan was the #3 pick in the 1984 draft, after Portland selected Sam Bowie second.

  2. #2
    Raptors Republic Rookie Jordan-Drexler's Avatar
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    BTW Here are the new Jersey Pics I was talking about
    Home Jersey

    Road Jersey

    3rd Jersey
    What if... Blazers had drafted both Drexler, Jordan?

    From 1992 Beginner's Guide to the NBA Finals, The Oregonian's special section. Published 6/3/1992.

    Michael Jordan was the #3 pick in the 1984 draft, after Portland selected Sam Bowie second.

  3. #3
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    Im with you on this one,i dont mind canada but cot damn that maple leaf on the jersey is so cottonelle soft...

    I dont mind the color changes cuz i think it was more about changing the identity of the team and the image so i dont mind the blk and red from purp...but i agree with everything else including making the coach canadian...making NBA TV switch and trying to incorporate the canadas team crap into everything....

  4. #4
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    I don't mind the "Canadianization" of the Raptors. They are currently the only NBA team in Canada, which represents a HUGE market for them. Why not take advantage of it? As the games in Vancouver and Montreal showed, the NBA is a draw outside of Toronto. It's great that you want to focus on Toronto, but it certainly wouldn't be very smart from a marketing standpoint. If you can get the rest of Canada to embrace the Raptors, they'd have one of the biggest fan bases in the NBA, if not THE biggest. Very, very smart.

    1) I actually like the colours. I think it's a much cleaner look than the purple.

    2) I actually liked claw on the back of the jersey, but I think they're trying to separate themselves more from the Jurassic Park connection, which certainly isn't a bad thing. Maybe they'll change their name to the Huskies, soon. I'd be up for that.

    3) I'm pretty sure hiring Jay Triano had very little to do with him being Canadian. I do think his original hire by an NBA team, the Vancouver Grizzlies, was a marketing ploy, but since then I think he's earned his reputation. Hiring him simply because he's Canadian would be a moronic thing to do. Especially since Colangelo's job hinges on Triano's success.

    4) The rebranding of RaptorsTV is also smart. The majority of the content on the channel is not about the Raptors. And basketball fans outside of Toronto might be more likely to subscribe to NBA TV rather than Raptors TV. Especially if the Raptors aren't a good team, as is the case right now. Why would an NBA fan in Vancouver, for instance, who doesn't have any affinity for the Raptors, subscribe to Raptors TV?

    5) Isn't this #2?

    6) What diversification of the roster? You mean the inclusion of more players not from the US? The entire NBA is doing that. There are more international players in the NBA this season than ever before. Obviously the Raptors are going to reflect that. Especially considering that it's easier to get international players to play for Toronto than American players. That's not the fault of MLSE.

    Read this article: http://www.interbasket.net/news/4989...nal-diversity/

    Canada is a huge market and you'd have to be really stupid not to take advantage of that market.
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  5. #5
    Raptors Republic All-Star hateslosing's Avatar
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    I think that it's a great idea to market the Raps as Canada's team right now for all the reasons Tim W mentioned. My concern with the idea is that at some point the NBA may expand again, say 5-10 years down the road and they might say: let's give Vancouver another shot or Montreal deserves a chance. Then this whole Canadian Raptors thing will look really silly.
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    Raptors Republic Rookie Blasterfi9's Avatar
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    I perfectly fine with them marketing raptors as canada's team. I did like the claw over the leaf, but the color scheme is an improvement over the damn purple. And i think it helps canada draw a second team more than it hurts. If the Raptors show that Canada is craving more basketball, with other cities showin a real increase in interest in Basketball, im sure the NBA will take notice and realize they can make more money themsevles, by bringing teams to Canada like back to Vancouver, or bringing a new one to Montreal or w.e to capitilize on the interest.

  7. #7
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    It's all about marketing and business. As far as free agents not coming to Toronto, I just think that they aren't well educated about the city and just assume that it's another small market. The only way we can really change that is for us to become a consistent playoff team and win games where players will say "okay, well I'll join the Raptors over the Warriors because they have a chance at winning the title, etc."
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    Raptors Republic Rookie Jordan-Drexler's Avatar
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    I think it's fine when the team is expanding or even growing. But when the team is trying to find an Identity it shouldn't be as "that Canadian team". A perfect example is the Blue Jays and the MLB. How many people know they were a back to back world series champion. They don't have things like that known as common knowledge (at least in my opinion) because they stick to the aspect that they are Canadian and that makes them diffrent.

    I'm not saying embrasing Canada is a bad thing or it shouldn't be done.My Problem is that MLSE it trying to take the Raptors and say they're "That Canadian team that plays basketball" instead of being "that Basketball team that plays in canada". And to me thats quite a big diffrence.
    What if... Blazers had drafted both Drexler, Jordan?

    From 1992 Beginner's Guide to the NBA Finals, The Oregonian's special section. Published 6/3/1992.

    Michael Jordan was the #3 pick in the 1984 draft, after Portland selected Sam Bowie second.

  9. #9
    Raptors Republic Rookie Karl Marx's Avatar
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    Suggestion:

    DON'T pull in the soft Euros that have been the downfall of the Raps! Instead, "Canadianize" the Raps BY BRINGING IN CANADIAN PLAYERS! I assume that Canada has plenty of solid native born players to pick from.

    - Not a bad idea, Eh?

  10. #10
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    Last I checked Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Knicks heck the Sac Kings had more Canadian Players than the Raptors. And next year when potential 1-3 Canadians will be drafted the Raps most likely will not draft a Canadian or have one on their roster.

    We haven't been Canada's team for a while. That's why the whole Raps TV thing never was going to work because if you wanted to see that kid from Montreal, Victoria, Toronto play in the NBA you didn't look on the Raps. As far a Jay goes BOTH Colangelo's have a lot invested in him. This guy has earned everything he has got.

    He should have never been fired from Team Canada. (We can debate whether he deserved to keep his current role but he definitely deserved a shot at it) The Grizz stole him from Simon Frasier (whose program never recovered in my opinon) and as an alum of Carleton -- a school that would eventually benefit from his departure when Coach Smart took over -- I still smile

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    Raptors Republic Rookie noxleno's Avatar
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    I'm not highly opinionated on this one, but I think it's true that advertising the team as "overtly" Canadian may downplay the fact that they're the "Toronto" Raptors. On the other hand, it's foolish to deny that this team is, to a large extent, defined by its International persona. Maybe if this great country was better represented in the NBA it wouldn't be that way. Meh.

    Oh, and the purple-themed Jerseys were, in my opinion, atrocious. Particularly the ones with the old Raptors logo on them. The Claw logo is much cooler, they shouldn't have replaced it with the Maple Leaf.

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    I honestly wouldn't mind a name-change. Although the name Raptors has grown on me...it makes absolutely no sense. And the fact that it was motivated by a kids movie is pretty lame. They probably polled a bunch of kids, and since Jurassic Park was on everybody's mind they all picked that.

    Huskies is much more suitable, but it doesn't any edge, or "coolness" to it.
    Last edited by nubreed000; Mon Oct 18th, 2010 at 11:35 PM.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Hotshot's Avatar
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    Its really not that bad, its a team in Canada after all so its got to have some cultural stamp on it.

    I remember when Vince Carter was here and there was that big ass barney on the front, no one really cared then as long as Carter was on the highlight reel every night and the team was winning, the design on the jersey was secondary to everything else.

    - oh man that's hideous and funny at the same time, the Big O looked like he was wearing a barney wife beaters.

  14. #14
    Raptors Republic Rookie jamesk's Avatar
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    I personally despise the Canadiana theme...the red & white, the Toronto inspired roster. If it were up to me, it would be purple and black road jerseys with Toronto on the front, white and purple home, the claw as the primary logo, and some more players who've been to college, growing up preparing for the nba, not fiba. That said, talent can come from anywhere, but you won't see many Stanley cups with a foreign based roster (see Washington), but the right addition of world class talent can help ( see red wings-Larianov).
    As for the coaches, the best coaches have the best players (see Jackson, Phil)

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    Why not just put another NBA team in Vancouver?smh The dollar is not a problem plus the Vancouver business & media infrastructure has grown immensely since the Grizzlies left ie Olympics....

    I like the new jerseys they're ok but you gotta keep the freakin' claw!!!!!!! The claw is extra dope!!!!

    I would like to a see a Canadian on Canada's team ie Dalembert, Nash, Magloire, Anthony, Bonner, etc...or hope that one of the young bucks coming up in the NCAA gets drafted by TO.

    I always thought that the Grizzlies should have went after Nash, Fox or MacCulloch (an ex UW Husky) back in the day.
    Last edited by SirChillyMost; Mon Oct 18th, 2010 at 11:15 PM.

  16. #16
    Administrator Arsenalist's Avatar
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    I agree with the gist of what the OP is saying. Count me as part of the crowd that misses the purple. There's no need to "Canadianize" this team, that will happen automatically if the team becomes good. You think a guy in Edmonton is going to be affected by these little PR stunts? No. Either he views the lone Canadian representative in the NBA as "Canada's team" or he doesn't, no amount of rebranding is going to change his mind. I think all this promotion could even backfire because it sometime seems like you're shoving the brand down people's throats rather than then just picking it up naturally, which is the way you really build fans.

    In short, there's no need to promote the Toronto Raptors as Canada's team, it's already implied and all that's stopping people in Manitoba from buying Raptors jerseys is the team being good and representing, not phony ads and marketing gimmicks.

  17. #17
    Raptors Republic Starter Edgar's Avatar
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    Theirs A LOT of casual NBA fans in Canada that either support no team in particular or completely follow another team besides the Raptors (my buddies LOVE Houston for some reason for example). Lets say theirs 5 Million casual fans in Canada for the picking (completely random guess). Why shouldn't the Raptors do their best to identify to them?! Completely committing to a city can be quite limiting... I bet you there are tons of people within Ontario that despise the Leafs/Argos/Jays/FC etc because of other factors or that they are closer to other major cities that have rivalries with some Toronto teams etc (Buffalo, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Detroit, etc) that make them avoid the Toronto sports market...


    I'm living proof that this type of marketing can work.... I live in Calgary and as a kid (in Sask - before i went all hardcore NBA) I had Grizzlies paraphernalia... but as a teenager I started getting into the league and subconsciously decided on the Raptors because I root for underdogs (which they were and continue to be). Being in Canada just happened to be the factor that put them over the top... Just like the Jays (but now I hate baseball).

    Another example is hockey where I obviously root for my hometeam first - but when they get knocked out of the playoffs (and inevitably choke lol) I will root for ANY Canadian team. Even the Oilers (hated enemies). Why? Because no Canadian team has won since 1993 (17 years!?!). When My CFL teams (CGY/SSK) don't make the dance I will almost always root for the Western finalists.


    As far as the MLSE paranoia - If anything MLSE is just copying the Jays on how to capitalize on the Canadian market...

    Other comparable examples? Plenty in non-team sports, but that's a different story.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Jordan-Drexler wrote: View Post
    I think it's fine when the team is expanding or even growing. But when the team is trying to find an Identity it shouldn't be as "that Canadian team". A perfect example is the Blue Jays and the MLB. How many people know they were a back to back world series champion. They don't have things like that known as common knowledge (at least in my opinion) because they stick to the aspect that they are Canadian and that makes them diffrent.

    I'm not saying embrasing Canada is a bad thing or it shouldn't be done.My Problem is that MLSE it trying to take the Raptors and say they're "That Canadian team that plays basketball" instead of being "that Basketball team that plays in canada". And to me thats quite a big diffrence.
    I really have no idea what you're talking about. The Jays are non-existent outside of Toronto, as far as I have seen. And even if they weren't, the reason the Jay's World Series wins aren't more well known says more about the Jays lack of marketing than anything else. I used to be a fan of the Jays and even watched one of the World Series games in person, as well as gathered on the street with everyone else when they won, but since I've moved to Vancouver, there's nothing.

    And marketing the Raptors to the rest of Canada has no effect on how they're viewed outside of Canada. In the end, the name of the team is the Toronto Raptors. That's what people see.

    Quote blackjitsu wrote: View Post
    As far a Jay goes BOTH Colangelo's have a lot invested in him. This guy has earned everything he has got.

    He should have never been fired from Team Canada. (We can debate whether he deserved to keep his current role but he definitely deserved a shot at it) The Grizz stole him from Simon Frasier (whose program never recovered in my opinon) and as an alum of Carleton -- a school that would eventually benefit from his departure when Coach Smart took over -- I still smile
    You're very right about Triano, although I do think it was a bit of a marketing ploy for the Grizzlies to hire him, although a smart one. He had connections to local basketball, which made him quite useful. I just wish they would have made more use of him.

    On a side note, I'm also a Carleton grad. I tried out for the basketball team one year but didn't make the cut. I was not impressed with the coach, at the time, and not because he cut me. He trapped all the guys trying out in the lockeroom after one session and let some people from Athletes in Action proselytize to us about our "relationship with Jesus Christ". I wasn't impressed at all and if I hadn't been worried it might have affected my chances I would have walked out. I think that was the point.

    Quote SirChillyMost wrote: View Post
    Why not just put another NBA team in Vancouver?smh The dollar is not a problem plus the Vancouver business & media infrastructure has grown immensely since the Grizzlies left ie Olympics....
    That would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath. It was a very dark day when the Grizzlies left town. A very good friend worked for them while they were in Vancouver and told me stories that made me ill. It was no wonder they left considering how the team was run.

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  19. #19
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    Quote jamesk wrote: View Post
    I personally despise the Canadiana theme...the red & white, the Toronto inspired roster. If it were up to me, it would be purple and black road jerseys with Toronto on the front, white and purple home, the claw as the primary logo, and some more players who've been to college, growing up preparing for the nba, not fiba. That said, talent can come from anywhere, but you won't see many Stanley cups with a foreign based roster (see Washington), but the right addition of world class talent can help ( see red wings-Larianov).
    As for the coaches, the best coaches have the best players (see Jackson, Phil)
    +1

    The Toronto Raptors of the 90s, i.e. the original team under Isiah and Grunwald is so hard to identify with nowadays because of all the changes and the strong focus on Canada.

    When the Grizzlies were still in Vancouver, you could really sense a "Toronto vibe" from the Raptors. Now I have a hard time identifying the team with the city of Toronto-- more like a team Canada or some domestic euro team. I'm not a fan of the changes at all. I feel a disconnect with the current state of the team. In fact when I found out that they took out the claw and replaced it with a maple leaf, I was pretty disappointed and it only further made me feel alienated from this team.

    NCAA/American Players have a hard enough time coming here with all the stereotypes and the history of the Raptors with big name athletes... by marketing the Raptors as "Team Canada" with all the emphasis on Canadian content, they're only separating themselves even further from the rest of the league and making the experience for American athletes playing here feel more foreign than it really should.

  20. #20
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    Just one other quick comment: Rather than MLSE spending all this money and effort in their mass marketing of the Raptors as Team Canada, if they just invested some money in their NBA scouting and actually drafted players that could bring exciting high-level play to the court on a nightly basis, I'm sure they wouldn't have issues getting people to notice across Canada- not to mention the US as well as the international market. Vince Carter was one of the most recognizable athletes on a global scale. When you build a team filled with boring one dimensional jump shooters, you're gonna have no choice but to start changing the colours and embedding maple leafs on jerseys.

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