TORONTO — The Toronto Raptors have renamed their training facility as the OVO Athletic Centre, a nod to the NBA team’s partnership with Grammy award-winning artist Drake.
The Toronto-born rapper has been involved with the Raptors since being named the team’s “global ambassador” nearly six years ago.
The facility, located on the grounds of Exhibition Place, was originally known as the BioSteel Centre before being renamed the Toronto Raptors Training Centre.
“Drake and OVO are an important part of our city’s landscape, our team’s identity, and our plans to bring a championship to Toronto,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a statement. “With each step of our partnership over the last five and a half years, we have worked together to build a winning basketball program in Toronto and deliver for our fans and our community.
“This new naming rights deal for our training facility is a perfect example of the strength of this partnership and the innovative opportunities it can generate.”
OVO, an acronym for “October’s Very Own,” is the name of a record label and clothing line co-founded by Drake.
The rebranding of the facility will include OVO Athletic Centre signage inside and outside the facility, and Raptors practice jerseys will feature the OVO owl logo on the upper left chest.
Drake has been involved in planning for the 2016 All-Star Weekend at Scotiabank Arena (then Air Canada Centre), the launch of the “We The North” campaign and an OVO-inspired alternate uniform.