The Toronto Raptors are hoping their new battle cry, "North Over Everything," will score a slam dunk with their fans this season.
As the Raptors come off their most successful two-season run in franchise history, Canada's only NBA team has created a new campaign that enshrines their hopes for the 23rd season.
North Over Everyone is an extension of We the North — which has served as the team's slogan since 2014 and branded them as the NBA's northern success story — said Dave Haggith, spokesperson for Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), which owns the Raptors.
After last season ended with a second-round sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers, team president Masai Ujiri promised a "culture reset" — and North Over Everything is part of that mission.
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"Inspiration from [North Over Everyone] is based on the attitude of the Raptors heading into the season," Haggith said.
Other messages woven into the campaign include "Hustle Over Hype," "Grit Over Given" and "Built Over Bought," all of which embody the Raptors' foundation, he added.
He is also reassuring fans We the North is "never" going away as the Raptors tip off their opening game Thursday night with some new players in their lineup.
"We're trying to be the best Toronto Raptor team that our skill sets allow us to be," said head coach Dwane Casey at a news conference Thursday.
But the new campaign isn't scoring with everyone, as fans delivered mixed reviews ahead of tonight's matchup against the Chicago Bulls.
"That's a little pretentious. We're proud to be the north and I thought 'we' was more encompassing," said Victor Fraser, an artist who has been painting a murale outside the Air Canada Centre for the past 14 years.
Meanwhile, another fan called it "domineering," adding We the North is catchier.
"I think 'We the North' is a little more Canadian than 'over everything,'" she said.
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