Sport Chek signs with the Raptors

The brand has inked a 10-year deal with the team that aims to tap into local basketball communities with crowd-sourced creative and documentaries.

Sport Chek is aiming to take the brand to a grassroots level, activating its new 10-year deal with the Toronto Raptors by highlighting community basketball across the Greater Toronto Area.

The new partnership, “#MyNorth,” taps into Sport Chek’s AOR Sid Lee’s work with the Toronto Raptors last year for the start of its “We the North” campaign. It is starting with a set of creative for the launch of the new campaign and aims to expand from there with the help of basketball community members across the GTA who are being asked to upload and tag their stories with #MyNorth.

“Basketball is something that is exciting for us because it is so intertwined with the community,” she says. “

To tap into those communities the brand worked with local basketball insiders like the coach of the basketball team from Vaughn Secondary School, Gus Gymnopoulos, who worked with last year’s number one NBA draft pick Andrew Wiggins during his time at the school, to find the nine neighbourhoods that will make up the community aspect of the campaign: Brampton, Markham, Vaughan, North York, York, Etobicoke, Mississauga, Scarborough and Toronto.

Each of the areas will be spotlighted with a documentary produced by TSN sharing the unique basketball stories of that area. Those stories will be incorporated into in-game advertisements as well as shown during home games for the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. That content is part of a deal that Canadian Tire announced with TSN last spring. The campaign kicked off yesterday with a YouTube video introducing the program ahead of the Toronto Raptors’ home opener.

Different OOH signage for each community has been created through the campaign by illustrator Carson Ting. Those illustrations will be posted in relevant locations to each of the communities as well as printed on T-shirts for members of the community.

In addition to handing T-shirts out to members of each of the communities, Sport Chek will be giving out tickets to each of the Toronto Raptors 41 home games. In all around 85 tickets will be handed out to neighbourhood teams and community ambassadors to sit in the #MyNorth fan zone at section 307 at the Air Canada Centre.

The communities will also be tapped to crowd source future creative for the campaign, with the ask out now to provide design ideas for a future “We the North” Adidas fan collection featuring pieces unique for each neighbourhood. That collection will be sold exclusively in Sport Chek stores next March. An initial line of “We the North” clothing is available now at Sport Chek locations across the GTA.

The deal marks the first time the brand has sponsored the Toronto Raptors. Shelley Girard, associate vice president of marketing at FGL Sports Ltd. says the brand was inspired to sign the sponsorship after seeing the momentum of the team’s playoff run last season and the underlying basketball culture that emerged in the GTA.

The partnership is part of a larger deal that the Canadian Tire Family of Companies and MLSE signed last September.

Media on the campaign is from Montreal-based Touche!, creative work is by Sid Lee and public relations and social media from North Strategic.