Staples signs on with the Toronto Raptors

The sponsorship will also include a speaker series tied to the retailer's community-building efforts.

Ahead of the next NBA season, Staples Canada has signed a new partnership with the Toronto Raptors.

The multi-year partnership – the value of which was not disclosed – will see the retailer company become “the official Working and Learning Company” of the Toronto Raptors, reflecting the company’s recent repositioning that combines its historical presence in office and school supplies with new focuses like co-working spaces and entrepreneurship.

The sponsorship will include a presence at Raptors home games, as well as an ongoing “Spotlight Speaker Series” featuring team management and players catering to students, teachers, parents and businesses, in line with the retailer’s efforts to be a source of community for its customers. A line of Raptors merch will also be available in Staples stores.

One of the ways Staples has been trying to build communities is through virtual talks and sessions in its Spotlight Virtual Event space. That will be used to kick off the sponsorship on Aug. 28 with a back-to-school themed event featuring Raptors center Chris Boucher talking about his approach to preparing for a new NBA season and how kids might be able to apply that to the upcoming school year. Admission is free and open to students, teachers and families.

The new sponsorship will also include the “Back to School Team Spirit” contest, in which teachers, parents and students are invited to show what their school spirit looks like for the chance to win $15,000 in technology products for their classrooms.

While it has some high-profile sports sponsorships in the U.S. – including the naming rights to the Staples Center in Los Angeles – Staples doesn’t currently have any other partnerships with major leagues or teams in Canada, though it has been a sponsor of Special Olympics Canada since 1996.