Argos should ring Drake’s hotline bling

The Argos want to be “hot up in the 6ix” and who better to give the team that feel than Drake?

Toronto’s most famous son can create a buzz in an instant. Look no further than the Raptors: the 29-year-old rapper has dropped lyrics in songs about the Raps, regularly sits courtside and even surprises fans with impromptu performances. Drake is the Canadian NBA team’s Global Ambassador, so there’s a vested interest. That said, he helped Toronto FC land star international Jermain Defoe. With the Argos being owned by Bell and MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum, some type of arrangement should be easily worked out.

The power of Drake’s brand is well established and if he used any of his influential abilities – 33 million Twitter followers, 23 million Instagram followers, showed up at a game or dropped a line or verse about the Argos – the age group highly coveted by the franchise and Canadian Football League would definitely check out what it’s about. Drizzy created the hip moniker “The 6ix” and the double blue have been using it on social media to create hype.

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Star power is needed for the Argos to capitalize on the momentum created by playing at a new home, BMO Field. Back in the early 1990’s Toronto’s CFL team was owned by movie star John Candy and “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky. That provided intrigue for non-traditional CFL fans. While on the field Michael “Pinball” Clemons and Raghib “Rocket” Ismail dazzled onlookers and boosted the Argos to a Grey Cup championship in 1991.

Clemons’ rise to stardom provided the double blue with a face of the franchise for years. And when Doug Flutie – 1984 Heisman Trophy winner – came to town the Argos became a hot ticket again as Toronto won back-to-back Grey Cups in 1996 and 1997.

The team was relevant in the city during those periods in the 1990s.

Only flashes of that have come since. Damon Allen guided the Argos to a Grey Cup title in 2004. Ricky Williams caused a stir when he suited up for Toronto in 2006. Chad Owens garnered lots of attention when he exploded with a league-record 3,863 all-purpose yards and earned CFL MOP honours in 2012 when the Argos won the Grey Cup at their old Rogers Centre home. But neither Owens or a championship team could even come close to packing the dome on a consistent basis.

Owens plays for the Argos’ rival now and Ricky Ray is the franchise quarterback, although as good as he is at throwing footballs, people aren’t ogling over the veteran passer. The team needs players or a persona that’s viewed as hip and cool. Ricky Foley, a born and bred Toronto boy exudes those traits. He’s been heavily featured in the Argos’ marketing campaign and represented the team at the MMVAs. Plus Foley stuck up for Drake in his battle with Meek Mill.

Foley might know better than anyone on the roster that the Argonauts are starting from the bottom. It couldn’t get any worse than playing at Rogers Centre. That’s why the Argos should be enlisting the services of Drake, an influencer who can take them to the top of relevance in the 6ix.

Drake’s had football lyrics in his songs. “Looking like a damn football team” (Summer Sixteen). And “My city love me like a college running back” (Child’s Play). Each of those lines come from Drake’s latest album, could that be foreshadowing for the 6 God to support the local football team?

Views of Drake at BMO Field would be nothing but too good for the Argos.




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