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Is MLSE "Over-Canadianizing" the Raptors?

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  • 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
    No way, you're paranoid
    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
    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
      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
        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:

        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
          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.
          "Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival."



          • #6
            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
              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."
              Toronto's Finest


              • #8
                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

                  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
                    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


                    • #11
                      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.


                      • #12
                        I honestly wouldn't mind a name-change. Although the name Raptors has grown on 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 18, 2010, 11:35 PM.


                        • #13
                          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
                            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)


                            • #15
                              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 18, 2010, 11:15 PM.