The Toronto Raptors have poured a lot of money into advertising over the past several years. Acclaimed Canadian hip-hop artist Drake has been appointed the position of Global Ambassador for the team and has been a driving force behind the team’s new marketing strategy. As part of this strategy, he created the hashtag #WeTheNorth which is used by fans on Twitter and Facebook and even some fans at games who don’t understand that hashtags are really only useful on a computer. The hashtag has been widely successful as it makes the team sound more hip and plays into Canadian nationalism by using the word north.
Unfortunately the hashtag is not only grammatically incorrect but also factually incorrect. The Raptors play at Air Canada Center which has a latitude of 43.64°N, while the Minnesota Timberwolves play at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with a latitude of 44.97°N. The Raptors aren’t actually the most northern NBA team as the Timberwolves home court is a full 150 km further north than the Raptors’.
As the only professional Canadian basketball team, the Raptors should change their marketing strategy to make Canadians look more intelligent to basketball fans worldwide. A more accurate hashtag would be #WeNotQuiteTheNorth or the more grammatically correct #WeAreNotQuiteTheNorth. Or they could move somewhere North of Minneapolis, potentially Sudbury or Thunder Bay. Given that these aren’t the best basketball markets, maybe they’d be better ditching the whole north idea and use the simpler #WeAreCanadian, or given that the hashtag is usually used by an individual on twitter, perhaps #IAmCanadian. Fuck it, they should just sell the team to Molson. If Molson can convince Canadians to drink such shitty beer, surely they can get Canadians to watch one of the best basketball teams in the world.