Coors Light goes old-school with Raptors anniversary campaign

Retro cans and beer ads tap into both the team's 25th anniversary and 90s nostaglia.

OOH Mural - Open up a can

Coors Light is going back in time with some old-school marketing and special packaging bearing the Toronto Raptors’ original logo to celebrate the team’s 25th anniversary.

To promote several limited-release tall can designs, a new campaign from agency of record Rethink uses the hashtag “#ThrowItBack.” It currently features OOH ads with taglines such as “OG Cans for OG Fans” and “Open a Can of 1995.”

A short video spot showing off the team’s original red dinosaur logo includes a distinctly retro guitar riff and a healthy dose of film grain to replicate beer advertising from back in the day. The campaign will expand to include digital, broadcast and social media executions, with Toronto agency Wavemaker overseeing media strategy.

The campaign is expected to continue throughout the NBA season, eventually shifting away from the LTO product to focus on other anniversary messaging.

“The special cans are really about elevating the experience for Raptors fans,” said John Hoolahan, senior marketing manager for Coors Light. “We wanted to give them something tangible to celebrate the anniversary. And aside from that, this is all about nostalgia. The 90s are really having a comeback moment right now.”

While the Raptors themselves have been celebrating the anniversary with videos and imagery in line with their “We The North” campaigns, the team has also been embracing nostalgia with retro jerseys and “rewind nights” that feature a court inspired by its original colours and branding.

Coors Light is the Raptors’ official beer partner thanks to a deal between team owners Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and Molson Coors Canada, which has seen its brands partnered with MLSE teams on and off for the last 50 years, and has in recent years include “We The North” branded cans during the team’s playoff runs. The two companies are nearly half-way through their most recent 10-year deal.

While the Raptors are a Toronto team, the cans are available nationwide.

“The Raptors have largely been Toronto’s team with sporadic support across Canada,” Hoolahan said. “But I think that’s changed after they won the NBA championship last year. We want to help fans across the country celebrate.”