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

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Beefs & Bouquets, June 4

To submit a beef or a bouquet, email publisher@goldstreamgazette.com

MISSING: High-risk woman last seen on May 25

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating Jennifer Daughinee-Mendelson

Saanich cancels recreation centre membership passes due to COVID-19

Pass-holders to receive account credit or refund, facilities remain closed

Black bear sighting reported on UVic campus

University urging residents in the area to be careful

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Alert Bay resident carves tribute to his community kicking COVID-19’s butt

‘Our little village crushed the curve with love and commitment’

End of an Era: Tofino hair studio closes shop

“We were getting excited to start ramping up and then all of sudden we had to close our doors.”

Kelowna Mountie on desk duty following ‘aggressive’ arrest

The officer involved in an arrest that took place on May 30 in Kelowna has been placed on administrative duties

Protests shift to memorializing George Floyd amid push for change

‘There is something better on the other side of this,’ says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom

Most Read