Raptors take ticket drive to the media

The Toronto Raptors have taken to the airwaves to drive season ticket sales past the 12,500 minimum set for the franchise by the nba.The new National Basketball Association club is using a 30-second tv spot and a 30-second radio commercial, supported...

The Toronto Raptors have taken to the airwaves to drive season ticket sales past the 12,500 minimum set for the franchise by the nba.

The new National Basketball Association club is using a 30-second tv spot and a 30-second radio commercial, supported by print ads in The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star and The Toronto Sun.

At a recent press conference to introduce the tv spot, Tom Mayenknecht, Raptors communications director, says the thrust of the broadcast advertising is to push season tickets.

But, Mayenknecht says the spots will be used again next year when the franchise starts to beat the drums for its first nba season.

The Raptors are due to tip off at SkyDome in November 1995.

Both broadcast and print advertising come from Cossette Communication-Marketing, the Raptors’ shop in Toronto.

Mayenknecht says the tv spot broke Dec. 7, and runs until Christmas.

The radio commercial broke Dec. 5, and also runs until Christmas. The print broke the first of the month, and runs to mid-December.

The 30-second tv spot features Isiah Thomas, the former Detroit Piston star and now the Raptors’ vice-president, basketball.

It shows Thomas shooting hoops in a dusty gym as his own voiceover expresses his enduring love of the game.

John Bitove, president of the Raptors’ franchise, said at a Toronto press conference last week, the club expects to announce ‘major’ marketing partnerships soon, including some with corporations observers might not expect.

Bitove also noted the franchise is two-thirds of the way towards its 12,500 season ticket minimum, which must be reached by Dec. 31.

He said a radio deal to carry Raptors games is not far off, although he did not say which radio station would get the rights.

Slaight Communications, owner of top-rated cfrb-am in Toronto, is part of the consortium that owns the Raptors.