The Toronto Raptors will host their training camp for the new NBA season in Quebec City. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Raptors unveil 25th anniversary plans with Two Five logo and ‘95 Rewind’ nights

Raptors unveil ‘two-five’ campaign

Coming off the success of the Toronto Raptors’ “We The North” brand campaign, the pressure was on the organization to deliver for the 25th anniversary of the NBA franchise.

The marketing bosses with the team’s parent company Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment are confident that “Raptors Two Five” will do just that.

“It’s one thing to be relevant but relevancy is continually renewing,” said MLSE senior marketing director Jerry Ferguson. “There’s no complacency because you continually have to refresh and do something different.”

The “Two Five” image features a right hand with two fingers making a victory sign and a left hand with all five digits extended.

“For us the logo becomes an opportunity for fans to participate and it doesn’t have to be rigid,” Ferguson said. “It’s more flexible and it’s more participatory. That’s why we think it’s cool.”

It’s part of wide-ranging promotional plans released Thursday night that will celebrate the Raptors’ history. An 18-foot “Two Five” installation will be unveiled Saturday during the city’s all-night Nuit Blanche art festival, which begins Friday evening.

The regular-season opener Oct. 22 against the visiting New Orleans Pelicans will be devoted to the ring ceremony and unfurling of the championship banner.

READ MORE: Toronto Raptors and their diverse team celebrated worldwide

The next game at Scotiabank Arena, on Oct. 28 against the Orlando Magic, will be the first of six ”95 Rewind” nights. The Raptors will wear white and purple dinosaur jerseys and play on a 1995-style hardcourt.

With the Grizzlies also celebrating their 25th anniversary, the teams will wear throwbacks in Memphis on March 28 and on the return date in Toronto on March 30.

Other ”95 Rewind” games are set for Dec. 11 against Kawhi Leonard and the L.A. Clippers, the Jan. 28 and April 10 games against Vince Carter and the Atlanta Hawks and the Feb. 25 game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

“We’re thinking of these nights as like a time machine or a stepback jumper through different ages,” Ferguson said. “We’ll be having a lot of fun remixing music, fashion, moments from the past to make that in-game experience really fun.”

A promotional graphic featuring the ”Two Five” gesture combines a wide variety of hands from young to old with different ethnicities. Shannon Hosford, the chief marketing officer at MLSE, said authenticity was key for the promotional effort.

“We’re talking about the Raptors brand but also the game, where the game has come and how it’s representing Toronto and Canada now,” she said. “To do the right things and not just to do them because we want to be different, but do it in a way that we’re relevant and culturally relevant.”

A tagline for the promotion references the Raptors’ early years when they played home games at SkyDome, the venue now called Rogers Centre that’s home to Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays.

“Twenty-five years ago we were a basketball team, playing in a baseball stadium, in a hockey town,” it reads. “Today we’re world champs.”

An estimated two million supporters were on hand for the Raptors’ parade and celebration last June. The team defeated the Golden State Warriors in a six-game final to win the NBA championship for the first time.

“Our challenge is not to convince people that we are a serious contender anymore,” Ferguson said. “We’re here and we’ve arrived. We’ve proven everyone wrong and now we’re opening up the next chapter.”

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Otter Co-op expands to North Vancouver brewery and Abbotsford pub

Aldergrove-borne enterprise delves into hospitality realm with three new Angry Otter liquor stores

LETTER: Pandemic doubles food containers littering on Fort Langley street

A local walker has noticed a substantial increase in litter in her neighbourhood

LETTER: More traffic enforcement needed in Fort Langley, one resident pleads

Irresponsible drivers using the village and surrounding area as circuit – says Fort advocate

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Fraser Valley Bandits fall to Edmonton in CEBL final

Bandits lose 90-73 to Stingers in Sunday’s Summer Series final

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Most Read