TAMPA, Fla. — Toronto Raptors fans might be a little disappointed they won’t be seeing their team in person anytime soon due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Raptors fan Luc Samanski decided to have a little fun with the idea that the Raptors are playing home games at their temporary home in Tampa.
“The Raptors moved to Tampa, what if I can just Florida-ize the Raptor a bit?" he said.
Samanski is an art designer in Toronto. His hobby is redesigning teams’ logos. Of course, he had to design one for the Raptors’ new home.
“The inspiration for the design is from my grandpa,” Samanski said. “He used to live in St. Petersburg and he’d always rock the craziest pastel colors. The other half (of the logo), really that eccentric kind of look a lot of the Raptors have. I combined both those things together and then thought it was the perfect jersey for the Tampa Raptors.”
A throwback logo to the Toronto Raptors of the 1990s with a Tampa twist. It caught the eye of Jake Wolpert, the sports apparel designer for “Wade and Williamson” in Fort Lauderdale.
“Initially when I saw it, this is amazing,” Wolpert said. “The Raptor logo is wearing a Hawaiian shirt. It fits in. It’s such a Florida logo.”
Wolpert created this apparel business in March when he got laid off from his due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I knew immediately this was a winner,” Wolpert said. “I could sell a lot of these with my manufacturing skills, marketing, all of that.”
The duo partnered up and are now selling Tampa Raptors jerseys. A cool concept is now a reality.
“I’ve been doing this for 7-8 months and I’ve never had a product like this that’s blown up so much in a short period of time,” Wolpert said.
The Raptors will wear five different uniform combinations this season, maybe this will be the sixth.