Sid Lee has been selected to lead the Toronto Raptors through a rebranding following a formal review.
Following Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment‘s announcement in September that the team will rebrand, the company held a formal review with a “handful” of agencies, selecting Sid Lee for the project this week.
The mandate covers an all-encompassing brand platform. Sid Lee has already begun the work, for now focusing on visual identity and the team uniform.
The announcement follows Sid Lee’s just-launched campaign for another MLSE-owned team, the Toronto FC. That project included a series of 10 teaser ads, a 30-second TV spot and a Metro Toronto cover promoting the team’s new star player Jermain Defoe.
Sid Lee was selected to work on the Defoe campaign after meeting with MLSE in early 2013 to discuss its rosters of sporting brands, according to Vito Piazza, president of Sid Lee Toronto, the office handling both accounts. That conversation led to a deeper relationship.
“With the Raptors rebranding confirmed, it’s going to be an ongoing relationship. They’re a dynamic organization and we’re going to be involved in those milestone events and transitions to help amplify and elevate their story,” he said.
Sid Lee is currently the only agency working on the rebrand at this early stage, but Piazza said MLSE has a network of communications partners that he expects to collaborate with throughout the rebranding.
One partner Sid Lee has already met with with is the hip hop star Drake, who MLSE brought on as the Raptor’s new “global ambassador” when it announced the rebranding. “Even in that first interaction, it was very clear he’s taking it seriously, and he has a really interesting point of view [that] I think is going to help us in this process,” Piazza said.
“The real opportunity, and I think MLSE is working towards this, is to take these brands and players and connect them culturally to the fans and the city,” he said. “Someone like Drake is an incredible ambassador and bridge to that.”