Originally posted on BlackSportsOnline  |  Last updated 9/29/13

According to a story via Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star, popular rapper Drake, and the not so popular Toronto Raptors, are set to former a partnership similar to the one Jay-Z had with the Brooklyn Nets, in an effort to reinvent the franchise. In what will start out looking like a publicity stunt and may end up changing the face of a franchise, the Toronto Raptorsare about to begin a major partnership with the city’s most globally recognizable citizen. On Monday, MLSE will announce the first of several initiatives with hip-hop impresario Drake, which will see him acting as a host, business partner and consultant for the team. The Canadian rapper made his allegiances known during his press tour at ESPN this past week, even stating what his goals are in regards to the franchise. “I am a Raptors fan to the death,” Drake told ESPN. “The real goal here is to build up the Toronto Raptors,” Drake announced in the midst of wider conversation about the league. Drake, who is front and center at several Raptors games throughout the season, will begin plans immediately to help change the image of an organization that has been struggling to attain relevancy in the NBA world. The nuptials will start Monday with an announcement that Drake is partnering with the Raptors as they accept the 2016 NBA All-Star Game. He’ll be drafted in as a non-official host of festivities. An actual MC, as well as a figurative one. The hip-hop star will also launch a clothing line in conjunction with the team. Most intriguingly, he is being asked to consult on a complete redesign of the club’s image to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the franchise in the 2014/15 season. According to sources at MLSE, everything about the team is on the table . . . aside from the name. Give up your Huskies dreams. MLSE and Drake are sticking with dinosaurs. Drake is arguably the most popular rapper in the world right now, so the Raptors are making a prudent decision by hitching onto his bandwagon. This partnership with Drake has the potential to revive the Raptors, just ask the Nets what teaming up with Jay-Z did for their image. Of course the Raptors would have to win games at some point, but in the meantime a changing of their image (talking about those god-awful uniforms) wouldn’t hurt.

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