Toronto Raptors rename training center “OVO Athletic Center” as a love letter to Drake


March 14, 2019

It started with the summer parties, then grew into sitting atop the CN Tower while it glows and changes colour in your honour. Now, Drake can see his own reflection in another part of the 6, with the training facility for the Toronto Raptors receiving a name change in celebration of the hometown hip-hop hero.

The newly-minted OVO Athletic Center, named after the birth-month-referencing moniker of Drake’s label and clothing line, October’s Very Own—was announced earlier today via the rapper’s Instagram account. Drake threw some expected hometown pride into his announcement, adding that he’s “so proud to be from this city” before gushing that the nod from the NBA team “feels like a high school dream come true”:

The name-change undergone by the facilities once known as the BioSteel Center and the refreshingly-descriptive Toronto Raptors Training Center is just the newest development in the nothing-but-love affair between the Raps and Drake, who’s also officially served as the team’s “global ambassador” for the past five years.

Raptors president Masai Ujiri shared the love in a statement to CTV News regarding the name change, commenting of their partnership with the Kiki-love-inquirer as such: “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. 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.”

The rebranding involves not only a name and signage change as seen above, but also the permanent addition of OVO’s signature owl logo to the upper-left chest of the Raps’ practice jerseys.

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