The Toronto Raptors Have Decided To Stay Red. Sort Of…

Recently, I wrote a post to pitch the idea that the Raptors should use their current re-branding opportunity to change their jersey and logo colours to blue, both to spark a change and to create an image that is more reflective of the city of Toronto. While many of you seemed to agree with the idea, it dawned on me that the new logos and colours have already been submitted to the NBA league office for approval (as a side note, new logos have to be submitted for approval years in advance because the NBA has to check if any colours/patterns are copyrighted. Yes, you can copyright a colour. Think of Tiffany & Co.’s blue).

The Raptors have already made their decision. What escaped me, was that their decision isn’t a mystery and was staring at us right in the face…

The History of Allstar Logos


These are the past 19 logos leading to the 2016 allstar weekend. Looking back, it’s clear that there is no set colour scheme. In fact, the colours of the logos reflect the colours of the host city’s team. In 1998, the logo donned the blue, orange, and black of the New York Knicks, in 2012 the blue, black, and silver of the Orlando Magic took centre stage, and the list goes on and on. Even cities that have hosted the allstar weekend on multiple occasions have fully ensured that their current colours are reflected in the logo (New Orleans, which hosted in 2008 and will host in 2014, had a re-branding between those years, and the logos reflect that). Only on 3 occasions, do the logos not reflect the colour of a specific team. In 2007, because there is no team in Las Vegas, in 2015, because it will be jointly hosted by the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, and in 2001 because Washington decided to add red to the logo colour scheme. Washington’s year is the only year when a single host did not have its team’s colours solely comprise the colours of the allstar weekend logo (the Washington blue and gold are there but as mentioned, the red is a new addition). Looking at the logo, you can assess why this was the case. It’s the US capital, and this was most likely a ploy to make the logo a much more patriotic US image.


The only time the allstar logo included colours not associated with the host city team.

The 2016 Allstar Game Logo

So now that we know the trend of the allstar logos and the relationship they have to host cities, it’s now a matter of analyzing the logo for the 2016 allstar game. Here are the 2 versions of the logo released by the Toronto Raptors.2016_2

In both cases, red is the dominant colour of the logo. So this seems clear to me that the Raptors will keep red as their primary colour for the re-branded logo. However, what’s interesting is their use of black and blue backgrounds. While the background isn’t part of the allstar logo, it’s curious that the Raptors wouldn’t simply use a white background like the majority of the previous logos. The colours are there for a reason. In some form, the colours black and blue are a part of the re-branded Raptors (although not in a primary/dominant sense). So are these secondary and tertiary colours? Well my guess is that these will be alternate colours in the Raptor design and will be featured as the primary colour for alternate away jerseys (with red being the primary colour for regular away jerseys). Putting all this together, this colour scheme is very similar to the colour scheme of the winning entry from the recent Raptor re-brand contestjt2big2

After removing the Home 2 and Throwback design, the colour schemes from this entry are identical to the vision that the allstar logo alludes to (so it’s nice to know that the Raptors do occasionally incorporate fan feedback).  I’m still not sold on the font used in this entry, or the faded throwback logo on the back, but as someone who wants a blue Raptor jersey, I’m glad there’s a strong possibility that there will be one (although as an alternate) by 2016.

So there you have it. The analysis and prediction of what’s to come from the Raptor re-branding. Excited yet?


One thought on “The Toronto Raptors Have Decided To Stay Red. Sort Of…

  1. Pingback: Toronto Raptors in Blue… | Breakfast Surreal

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