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Raptors Getting New Uniforms, Tweaking Logo in 2021

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3 minutes ago, IceCap said:

I fail to see how that's our problem¬†ūüėõ

Lol...just saying, it was a hidden gem. I think it's a beautiful and progressive city. But... you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the U.S.  raving about Toronto in 2008. Times have certainly changed, that's for sure.

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6 hours ago, L10nheart404 said:

Lol...just saying, it was a hidden gem. I think it's a beautiful and progressive city. But... you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the U.S.  raving about Toronto in 2008. Times have certainly changed, that's for sure.

 

Tell that to the early-00s indie rock blogs!

 

 

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20 hours ago, Wentz2Jeffery said:

I swear this team changes their uniforms every season, although I guess this would make sense since the current set is mostly connected to Kawhi...

 

True, but they've mostly reshuffled the same colors, so it can still be coherent, they haven't passed the point of no return (aka the Cavalier threshold)

 

Purple trim and maybe alt would tie it together.  Gold accents would probably be too much.  Bulls vs Lakere 91 finals all in one.

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16 hours ago, L10nheart404 said:

Well, in the States, Toronto didn't have much cultural appeal/significance until the 2010's. Not saying it isn't cool or anything, but It's inaccurate to say it's always been cool and relevant in the U.S.

 

What the hell are you talking about?

 

Please don't ever profess to speak for anyone in the States.

 

Ever.

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The main thing that bothers me about the current Raps jerseys is that the word mark has an outline but the numbers are flat one-color. I know they're not alone but for whatever reason I find the disconnect more jarring with them than anyone else. Maybe just ditch the silver outline, who needs it? I've always liked their highway-sign number font though.

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On 6/18/2020 at 2:09 AM, Wentz2Jeffery said:

I swear this team changes their uniforms every season, although I guess this would make sense since the current set is mostly connected to Kawhi...

Not really? Raptors uni history...

 

1995- Inaugural look. Purple, giant raptor logo, crazy wordmark, zigzaggy pinstripes.

1999- "Vince Carter era" look. More of a traditional basketball look, but with modern twists. Chevrons appear as side panels, and the road look has a purple front but black back.

2003- Slight tweak to the above, the road jersey swaps out "TORONTO" for "RAPTORS" and adopt a red, black, and white alternate as they move towards the "Canada's Team" thing. 

2006- The red, black, and white alternate becomes the road uniform, the home uniform is redesigned around the "Canada's Team" colour scheme.

2008- A black alternate is added.

2015- The dribbling raptor logo is retired, the claw logo is redesigned and made the primary. The "WE THE NORTH" campaign is launched. New unis strip down the 2006-2015 set to basics. The chevrons are kept and the side panels and fonts are simplified. This set debuts with two alternates, a black one with red trip and a black one with gold trim as part of the partnership with Drake's OVO brand.

In the five years since they've rotated out A LOT of alternates, but so have every other NBA team. Which brings us to...

2021(?)- Supposedly a new primary set based around the "NORTH" chevron alternate uniforms.

 

So if we look at actual primary uniform designs we have the...

Inaugural set (1995)

Vince Carter set (1999)

Team Canada set (2006)

Kawhi Leonard set (2015)

Chevron set (2021?)

 

That's five primary uniform looks in twenty-six years. Let's look at some other NBA teams since the Raptors started in 1995...

Atlanta Hawks (four major redesigns)
Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets (four major redesigns)

Cleveland Cavaliers (five major redesigns)

Indiana Pacers (four major redesigns)

Minnesota Timberwolves (four or five major redesigns, depending on how you count the abandonment of green in 2010)

New York Knicks (four major redesigns)

Orlando Magic (five major redesigns)

Philadelphia 76ers (five major redesigns)

Phoenix Suns (four major redesigns)

Utah Jazz (five major redesigns)

 

The Raptors' five doesn't look so bad compared the teams that have four. Especially considering that the Raptors are including a rumoured 2021 set in their five, while any of these four could also debut new primary looks.

 

I also get the the NBA seems to have abandoned the idea of "primary" sets in favour of a rotating door of alternate designs, in practice I think we can still see "primary" identities at work here. And the Raptors haven't really changed theirs any more frequently than others.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, IceCap said:

Not really? Raptors uni history...

 

1995- Inaugural look. Purple, giant raptor logo, crazy wordmark, zigzaggy pinstripes.

1999- "Vince Carter era" look. More of a traditional basketball look, but with modern twists. Chevrons appear as side panels, and the road look has a purple front but black back.

2003- Slight tweak to the above, the road jersey swaps out "TORONTO" for "RAPTORS" and adopt a red, black, and white alternate as they move towards the "Canada's Team" thing. 

2006- The red, black, and white alternate becomes the road uniform, the home uniform is redesigned around the "Canada's Team" colour scheme.

2008- A black alternate is added.

2015- The dribbling raptor logo is retired, the claw logo is redesigned and made the primary. The "WE THE NORTH" campaign is launched. New unis strip down the 2006-2015 set to basics. The chevrons are kept and the side panels and fonts are simplified. This set debuts with two alternates, a black one with red trip and a black one with gold trim as part of the partnership with Drake's OVO brand.

In the five years since they've rotated out A LOT of alternates, but so have every other NBA team. Which brings us to...

2021(?)- Supposedly a new primary set based around the "NORTH" chevron alternate uniforms.

 

So if we look at actual primary uniform designs we have the...

Inaugural set (1995)

Vince Carter set (1999)

Team Canada set (2006)

Kawhi Leonard set (2015)

Chevron set (2021?)

 

That's five primary uniform looks in twenty-six years. Let's look at some other NBA teams since the Raptors started in 1995...

Atlanta Hawks (four major redesigns)
Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets (four major redesigns)

Cleveland Cavaliers (five major redesigns)

Indiana Pacers (four major redesigns)

Minnesota Timberwolves (four or five major redesigns, depending on how you count the abandonment of green in 2010)

New York Knicks (four major redesigns)

Orlando Magic (five major redesigns)

Philadelphia 76ers (five major redesigns)

Phoenix Suns (four major redesigns)

Utah Jazz (five major redesigns)

 

The Raptors' five doesn't look so bad compared the teams that have four. Especially considering that the Raptors are including a rumoured 2021 set in their five, while any of these four could also debut new primary looks.

 

I also get the the NBA seems to have abandoned the idea of "primary" sets in favour of a rotating door of alternate designs, in practice I think we can still see "primary" identities at work here. And the Raptors haven't really changed theirs any more frequently than others.

 

 

Also keep in mind that, if you paint with a broad brush, that the 1999 jerseys are the same patterns as the 2006 just with swapped colors(Yes, details matter especially here I know.)

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On 6/17/2020 at 11:59 AM, Lights Out said:

When the Raptors first removed purple from their color scheme, they were trying to rebrand themselves as "Canada's team" to compensate for that. It was an understandable decision at the time, but times have changed. Nowadays, Toronto is cool enough that the Raptors probably shouldn't have to dress up like the Canadian national team to attract fans anymore. 

I love it when people not from Toronto try to explain what Toronto is. If the indications of this thread are true and most of you Yankees never gave Toronto a passing thought until 2015 then you're really not positioned to be talking about what Toronto is or isn't ūüėõ

It's like that one guy who tried to suggest the Maple Leafs should abandon text on their logo because having a logo that relies on one language doesn't fit a "multi-cultural" and "progressive" city like Toronto. And I had to remind him that the Maple Leafs existed prior to 2015 and are rooted in an era when Toronto was merely the cultural capital of English speaking Protestant Canada. That is to say that the Maple Leafs are so old, and so ingrained in the city, that they predate the assumptions many Americans have about it.

 

So where does that leave the Raptors? Well they're far newer. 1995 is far more modern than the Leafs' founding date of 1917. This allows the Raptors a lot of creativity. In fact the Raptors are far more a product of the multi-cultural and progressive Toronto than the old timey Leafs are. This allows them a lot of freedom. They can play around with their uniforms in ways the Leafs can't, they can celebrate local culture in ways the Leafs can't. The Raptors having "Drake Night" is fun. The Leafs having "Drake Night" and rolling out black and gold unis is cause to burn the arena down. Both of these attitudes can co-exist by the way, and within the same fanbase too. Cities, especially cities as big as Toronto, can have multifaceted and complex identities.

 

So what I'm getting at is that the Raptors have a degree of freedom with their identity that the Leafs don't, but at the same time...where do they go with it? Having no restraints (or less restraints than the established team you share a building with) can be both a blessing and a curse.

Lights Out, you say that they shouldn't have to dress up as "Canada's Team" to attract fans, and can rely on cashing in on Toronto first and foremost. There are issues with that, however...

 

1) If they're going to lean into being a TORONTO team first and foremost then break out the paint bucket tool because it's time to dress them in blue and white. That's the Toronto sports scheme, from University of Toronto, to the Maple Leafs, to the Argos, to the Blue Jays. And while the uniformity is appealing in a "what if we were like Pittsburgh?" sort of way? I think it does the Raptors a disservice to stick them in a creative hole. U of T, the Argos, Leafs, and Jays all have that colour scheme because they're older and more established. Let the Raptors do their own thing.


2) It ignores the fact that the Raptors have, especially since 2015, done a fantastic job cultivating fans across Canada. There were "Jurassic Park" viewing parties across the country during the Raptors' Finals run, and TSN's announce team worked hard to work the rest of the country into the festivities. With three pointers often being referred to as "from Winnipeg" or "from Montreal," etc...

Abandoning the Canadian colour scheme may not be the best way to nurture a nation-wide fanbase that's at its peak thanks to a title win.

 

3) The purple isn't distinctly Toronto. No Toronto team had purple before them, and purple has never been associated with the city in any way. Purple was adopted because it was the trendy colour in the early and mid 90s and the team was all about capitalizing on merch in their early years (if the Jurassic Park cash-in didn't make that clear). In fact the original colours were purple, black, and neon green. The neon green got switched out for red due to ownership wanting something distinctly "Canadian" in the inaugural identity. Which means that if any part of the inaugural identity has any sort of relevance to the team's locale it's the red, not the purple.

 

4) The biggest issue with your take...you (and others) have said that Toronto had no wide-spread appeal in the US prior to the 2010s. Ok. So if this is true then your solution is for the Raptors to embrace a colour scheme when they were irrelevant to most of the rest of the NBA? Seems counter-productive. If we assume the "WE THE NORTH"/Drake stuff was the start of the Raptors being taken seriously in some way then doesn't it stand to reason that keeping the basic building blocks of that brand (red, white, black, Drake alts, etc...) is the way forward? 

Don't get me wrong, I love the 90s throwback and the purple stuff. My primary Raptors hat I wear is purple with the 90s logo. Still, it's best saved for the occasional throwback where you can make a fun 90s night out of it. The brand going forward should be rooted in the team's most successful and culturally relevant identity, however.

 

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I think the Raptors became more irrelevant the more they went away from the purple in the 2000s (and also lost key players).

 

Vinsanity was real...the purple/black jerseys were trendy. But after that, there was nothing really memorable about the team except for the fake sandwich board baselines...until 2015. Chris Bosh was a nice player but no one really thinks about his Toronto days. 

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@IceCapDon't forget about small tweak from 2017 when side stripes from jerseys retired along with ovo uniform.

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It’s not like purple is even a unique color in the NBA, it’s by far the league where it’s most prevalent. It’s a primary color and would be the base for road uniforms (If those still existed) of 3 teams, with another team that uses it pretty extensively. And there’s the Jazz and the Pelicans who should also arguably wear purple, plus another team that went purple because it was trendy in the 90’s. Purple and red is a tough fit and a worse color scheme than any of the other NBA teams that use purple. They can still wear the wacky throwbacks and bask in the nostalgia of when they were an NBA outpost in the frozen tundra that everyone tried to leave as soon as possible and won one playoff series in a decade

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On 6/19/2020 at 12:31 PM, WSU151 said:

I think the Raptors became more irrelevant the more they went away from the purple in the 2000s (and also lost key players).

 

Vinsanity was real...the purple/black jerseys were trendy. But after that, there was nothing really memorable about the team except for the fake sandwich board baselines...until 2015. Chris Bosh was a nice player but no one really thinks about his Toronto days. 

 

Identity wise I guess, but they are still the reigning champs.

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1 hour ago, chakfu said:

 

Identity wise I guess, but they are still the reigning champs.

 

Well my point (not well stated) was that Toronto basketball came back to relevance in 2015...but there were years in the late 00s where the shift away from purple didn’t help the brand.

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On 6/19/2020 at 12:08 PM, IceCap said:

I love it when people not from Toronto try to explain what Toronto is. If the indications of this thread are true and most of you Yankees never gave Toronto a passing thought until 2015 then you're really not positioned to be talking about what Toronto is or isn't ūüėõ

 

I'm not from Toronto, but I have visited before, so I know it's a really nice city. I'm not downplaying Toronto at all, just noting how its brand has changed over the years outside of Canada. 

 

I also think from a basketball perspective that the Raptors would be smart to promote Toronto as much as possible. They play in one of the greatest cities in the world. It should be one of the top destination cities for free agents and stars seeking trades. They could definitely capitalize on that like the LA teams, Heat, Warriors, and Nets have done with their markets.

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1 hour ago, Lights Out said:

I also think from a basketball perspective that the Raptors would be smart to promote Toronto as much as possible. They play in one of the greatest cities in the world. It should be one of the top destination cities for free agents and stars seeking trades. They could definitely capitalize on that like the LA teams, Heat, Warriors, and Nets have done with their markets.

 

Most star players love playing on the road in Toronto, coming to the All Star Game in Toronto, hanging out at OVO Fest during the summer, but there are still a lot of minor inconveniences that come with moving to a new country that are a hindrance to free agents. I can't really blame them either. I've lived in Canada my whole life, and if I were a pro athlete in a league with 29 Canadian teams & 1 American team I'd prefer to stay in my home country. Thankfully Giannis isn't an American and won't have the same issues next summer¬†ūüėŹ.

 

Even though it goes against just about all of my ideas about good sports branding, the Raptors have managed to simultaneously use 3 different distinct identities successfully. The primary red/black/silver look will always be associated with the championship, with both the black/gold & throwback purple looks being nice to break out once in a while. I'd rather they keep these looks separate than try and mash them all together.

 

Based on the reports, I can't seeing this change being much more than the Rockets & Warriors updates we saw last summer.

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I love the sounds emphasizing the chevron in a new update, the variations on that template have always been my favorite Raptors look. Incorporating some accents of gold could be cool too.

 

On 6/18/2020 at 2:44 PM, L10nheart404 said:

Lol...just saying, it was a hidden gem. I think it's a beautiful and progressive city. But... you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the U.S.  raving about Toronto in 2008. Times have certainly changed, that's for sure.

 

I understand what you mean. In the context of American pop culture, the idea of Toronto has changed and expanded drastically since the 2010's with the rise of artists like Drake, The Weeknd, Partynextdoor, etc. because it helped propagate the city's international identity to the rest of the world. That's not to say that this sort of culture didn't exist before (of course it did), but that dominant influence of popular music through the decade did wonders for capturing the attention of those who didn't think of Toronto in that way before. 

 

In regards to how this relates to the Raptors, I think that the current red and black look mirrors this rise strongly and has grown into the embodiment of Toronto as a powerhouse. I also understand the appeal of purple, but keeping it to the 90's throwbacks is enough for me. 

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"Caring about Toronto wasn't invented until the 2010s" is up there among the dumbest thoughts ever proffered on this board.

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5 hours ago, the admiral said:

"Caring about Toronto wasn't invented until the 2010s" is up there among the dumbest thoughts ever proffered on this board.

Well sure...if you completely change the narrative and original wording. Nobody said anything to those sentiments.

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The obvious solution is for the US to annex everything below the 55th parallel. 

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On 6/15/2020 at 9:19 PM, gosioux76 said:

It seems to me that the bigger issue here is that the Raptors seem to be living with a name it no longer wants. It feels as if this club has embraced  its name like an unhappy marriage, locked into a commitment that’s no longer exciting, but is unwilling to do anything about it. With the last few designs, it was as if the organization was designing around the name.  You could put any word on those jerseys and it tells the same story it does now. Replace the claw with a maple leaf, call them the Northmen and get it over with already.

 

So, here is my opinion on the Raptors name/identity.

 

When I think of the Toronto Raptors, the first thing that comes to mind is their original 90s look, complete with the jagged pinstripes, abundance of purple, crazy wordmark, and huge angry dinosaur.  I am not advocating for a return to that exact look, but that era is just what I think of when I think of the Raptors, regardless of how good or bad their on-court performance has been been wearing their different looks.  Their current look is just very forgettable, and if they were to go with an identity centered around the maple leaf and and a name like Northmen, I think would be a very mundane, forgettable look, frankly not much different than what they are doing now.

 

I guess my point is, I will always think of the Raptors as a 90s team, because that is when they were born.  They are a team whose identity was born out of 90s culture.  So I hope they never change their name.  It is such a fitting name for a team that was established in the early-to-mid-90s.  It's a special name because it wouldn't have worked if they were born even just 5 years earlier or 5 years later.  I think it is so cool to have a nickname that serves as a reminder of the time period when a team began its existence.

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