Canadian Tire quiets Raptors star Fred VanVleet in new ASMR-themed video

There might be no member of the Toronto Raptors more beloved by the city’s hoops fans right now than Fred VanVleet, who has gone from being the team’s back-up point guard to one of its frontline stars.

His rise to stardom has led to a growing number of brand partnerships, including the Mediterranean food chain Osmow’s (alongside teammate Norm Powell), and jelly brand Smuckers (alongside Pascal Siakam), as well as Axe, Roots and American Express.

We can now add Toronto Raptors sponsor Canadian Tire to the growing number of brands that have worked with #23 for their marketing. Last week, the Raptors’ YouTube channel quietly added a new video featuring VanVleet promoting the retailer’s Christmas products.

The 80-second video seems to simultaneously celebrate and send up the ASMR trend—which has been employed by brands including Reese, Michelob and IKEA  It features VanVleet promoting the Noma Voice Command Smart Lights while employing a variety of ASMR tactics, including rustling a throwback Raptors jersey and spinning a basketball on his fingers.

He also demonstrates a series of custom light shows that he’s created for “party time,” “post-game press conference” and “2019 champions,” before uttering, sotto voce, the brand’s tagline: “We do new. Canadian Tire.”

The video also drives Toronto Raptor app downloads by giving viewers a chance to win Raptors tickets, prizes and gift cards by voting for their favourite VanVleet ASMR sound. To do so they must first have downloaded the app.

Chris Powell