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The new Toronto Raptors logo

The move to Tampa revolutionized the franchise's visual identity

The new Toronto Raptors logo The move to Tampa revolutionized the franchise's visual identity

The start of the season for the Toronto Raptors will not be normal, from the new temporary location to the new look of the Canadian franchise. Due to travel restrictions under security protocols to prevent the spread of covid-19, the Raptors left Canada two weeks ago for Florida, in Tampa. They will play the training camp - which began on Sunday - at Saint Leo's University, in a reconfigured ballroom in Orlando's bubble style, while the official matches will be played at the Amalie Arena.

Among the news there is also that relating to the logo. If on the one hand the NBA defined it as the "training camp logo", this temporary rebranding of the Raptors has sparked fans who have split in two on social media: there are those who do not find references to Canada and Toronto and perceive it as bad taste; there are those who are exalted by the new identity of the 2019 NBA champions. The logo shows a "Raptor" biting a palm, the symbol of Florida, there is no full name of the "Toronto Raptors" but only an inscription that reads "2020 Training Camp Tampa".

And it was not even so hidden: the logo is very visible in the media areas set up at the training ground and at the JW Marriott Tampa in Water Street, where the team and staff currently reside. The first to disclose this were TSN's Josh Lewenberg and Saint Leo University Vice President Fran Reidy. No official announcements have been released on whether or how the Raptors will use this logo, but in the meantime someone has already moved.

That someone is Luc Samanski, a sports designer who has published the hypothetical new jersey of the franchise in the "Tampa Raptors" version on his Instagram account. She has chosen pastel pink and light blue colors, typical of Florida and in some ways close to the palette chosen by the Heat for the City Edition jersey. Samanski didn't use the logo seen previously, but reworked the Raptors' most iconic jersey by re-adapting it chromatically and adding a pair of sunglasses and a Hawaiian-style shirt to the dinosaur.

Although it is an aesthetically pleasing mock up, iRaptors have already unveiled the new jerseys of the season and this will remain just a great design job. Instead, we will have to wait for the first preseason game - 12 December - to understand how it will come and if the logo in question will be used.