The VPM Blog

Lint-sanity: What Drake Can Teach Us About Branding

Posted by Gray on May 5, 2014 9:30:55 AM

Despite the Toronto Raptors heartbreaking one-point loss to the Brooklyn Nets in game seven, the team has a lot to be proud of. This was one of the most entertaining first round of the playoffs and Toronto's seven games with Brooklyn were some of the most fun to watch. For a team that didn't have a great chance to even make the playoffs, things are looking good. When they walked off the court after their season-ending loss, their fans gave them a standing much-deserved standing ovation. For those familiar with the Raptors' franchise, you know that their arena is used to having empty seats, but never due to the team receiving a standing ovation after a loss.

Perhaps Toronto's basketball team's resurgence in relevance can be credited to Drake. Back in September, the rapper and Toronto native was hired as the team's global ambassador, and also proclaimed his stake for the throne of Westeros. Drake certainly knows a thing or two about rebranding, as he had to separate himself from his wheelchair bound character, Jimmy, on Degrassi, as he from the bottom of rap to - well, here.

The global ambassador started out the playoffs strong - when fans arrived at game 1, they were pleasantly surprised to find Raptors t-shirts in their seats, courtesy of Drake's label, October's Very Own.

Everything was going great: Drake, now established as one of the best contemporary rappers, gets paid to be courtside at NBA games, and his team is playing very well. And then the lint-cident happened.


Drake is a sharp-dresser, but keeping your look extra fresh requires some routine maintenance - whether you are in the comfort of your closet or on national television. As we all know, lint on black pants can ruin an outfit; Drake knows this, and that's why he couldn't resist pulling out his lint roller while he watched the action at Game 2.

Believe it or not, most rappers don't have rhymes about how hard they roll that lint off their jeans. It didn't take long for the Internet to go lint-sane over this, dissing Drake, who already has a reputation of being a little soft.

Now, Drake could have easily (lint) rolled over and accepted his fate as the latest meme to circle the web. He could have retreated to a vacuum sealed, lint-free bubble, but Drake didn't start from the bottom and get to 'here' by letting the haters run the show. Nope! Drake: rapper, actor, and MARKETING GENIUS. When fans showed up to Game 5, they didn't find t-shirts in their seats but the official lint roller of the NBA, brought to you by Drake.

The next time something with your brand starts to blow up in your face, turn it into something awesome and shoot it out of a t-shirt cannon to the outstretched hands of your new fans.

Topics: Social Media

The VPM Blog

How do we know blogging regularly works? Because Verge Pipe Media began as a blog and grew into East Alabama's first HubSpot agency partner, that's how!

Join us as we share lessons learned, best practices, thoughts on leadership in the social media and mobile world of today and more.

Worried about missing something? Sign up for our monthly(ish) newsletter and you'll get to see the best of the best delivered right to your inbox.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Popular Posts

Posts by Topic

see all