They say celebrity endorsements can propel a brand to the next level, and that's exactly what Drake is attempting to do with his hometown basketball team, the Toronto Raptors.
The rapper, who was appointed the Raptors' new global ambassador, introduces the start of the NBA season with a new ad for the team, released today. In the video, he expresses his love for the Canadian city and its basketball program ahead of its first game tonight (Oct. 30).
"I love this city more than anything in the world," Drake says over dramatic shots of the Toronto skyline and other establishments. "I have the option to live anywhere I want [but] I always end up coming back home... Everything that I'm saying is inspired by this city."
He admits being a big fan of the franchise since its inception in 1995 and hopes to return it to glory, particularly in terms of fan support -- citing college sports and European soccer fandom as a level for which to strive.
"It becomes something to live by, something to die by," he says of collegiate athletics and soccer overseas. "They're so passionate about it... I want to bring that energy here. I want other teams to hate coming to play the Raptors."
According to Rolling Stone, the rapper is in charge of a new clothing line for the franchise and will take on certain hosting duties -- including a spot at the 2016 All-Star Game.
The Toronto Raptors began the 2013-2014 season against the Boston Celtics, hoping to rebound from the previous season during which the team finished tied for dead last in the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division.