Toronto Raptors team up with The Bay for new streetwear collection

Who: The Bay, with its in-house team for creative and production, and media by Cossette Media.

What: “A Capsule for Change,” a new streetwear collaboration with the Toronto Raptors, with all proceeds going to support the Hudson’s Bay Foundation’s Charter for Change, promoting racial equality in Canada.

When & Where: The limited-edition clothing is available now, with ad support running across TV, digital / social media and digital out-of-home, including a Yonge-Dundas Square takeover in Toronto beginning Feb. 28.

Why: The Hudson’s Bay Foundation launched the Charter for Change last year to accelerate racial equity and inclusion, with a commitment of $30 million over 10 years to partners focusing on education, employment and empowerment.

“Racial equity is one of the most urgent issues facing society, and through Hudson’s Bay Charter for Change, our goal is to create tangible and measurable change that makes a difference in the lives of Canadians,” said Hudson Bay president and CEO Iain Nairn at the time. (The program launched with an embarrassing misstep when a photo of a Black anti-racism activist and lawyer was used in marketing materials without her knowledge.)

The “Capsule for Change” clothing line will generate new revenue for the Charter, and advertising is leveraging two well-known Raptors and a handful of other influential “collaborators” to raise awareness. The Bay signed on as the “Official Style Partner” of the Toronto Raptors last September.

How: The streetwear collection includes five pieces: Two different hoodies, two different sweatpants, and a zip-up jacket, with prices ranging from $128 for the pants to $158 for the zip-up.

The advertising features Raptors stars Pascal Siakam and Toronto native Dalano Banton modelling the new streetwear, with other collaborator / influencer Canadians possessing a “unique association” with basketball talking about what change means to them. They include Michael Linklater, the Cree founder of Prime Basketball Development; Raptors “Superfan” Nav Bhatia and his daughter Tia Bhatia, a philanthropist and social media influencer; and the ambassadors of Hijabi Ballers, a non-profit organization that champions Muslim girls in sports.

Aside from the paid media, the collaborators / influencers will also be sharing the content and their hopes for change through their channels. Hudson’s Bay will also run a “venue takeover” at Scotiabank Arena in March.

And we quote: “Growing up in Toronto, I was surrounded by so much diversity and cultures and I think that’s what makes the city so inspiring—the ability to express who you are through your values, passions, traditions, and style. I’m truly inspired by the message behind this collaboration—to stand as a united front with a shared vision that will positively impact communities for generations to come.”  — Dalano Banton, Toronto Raptors

David Brown