This week the Toronto Raptors were fined $25,000 after Drake violated league anti-tampering rules. The team could have avoided the fine altogether by firing Drake from his role as global ambassador, but they chose to keep the rapper on the team.
Why? What value do celebrities bring to a franchise? Having a VIP fan can up a team’s profile and help sell NFL tickets, MLB tickets, and especially NBA tickets. But, are these superstar fans also a distraction? Could their antics negatively affect a teams’ performances? Or are some celebrities good luck charms?
We decided to find out. We mined the social media accounts of some of today’s biggest hip hop stars to find the games attended. We then compared their attendance to the team’s record. Turns out there are a few good luck charms as well as some VIP-fans that might be better staying home.
Take a look at the biggest celebrity sports fans and what they bring to… or take from… their team of choice.
Drake – Toronto Raptors–60% win ratio
As the new global ambassador for the Toronto Raptors, Drake will definitely be playing a big role in the upcoming season with the franchise. The Canadian rapper has brought ample attention to the team in the last few months by cheering from the sidelines right next to the coaching staff, as well as giving the Raptors plenty of social media promotion. He has also used his “October’s Very Own” platform to create new merchandise, and is even in talks with owners about changing the team colors to black and gold to match his brand. The fans are getting excited about all of the new things happening for the team, but how is the team responding to Drake’s sideline appearances?
After looking at the Raptors’ win-loss ratio with Drake in attendance, the team has won 60% of games with him there. In the first round of the Eastern Conference series against the Brooklyn Nets, Drake was absent during one of the team’s four losses. Could things have panned out differently for the Raptors if their #1 cheerleader was there? It’s hard to tell, but for now it doesn’t seem as though Drake hasn’t had any significant negative effects on the team… well aside from the $25,000 fine he just caused the Raptors to receive. If there’s one thing we do know for sure, it’s that Drake will always be in attendance lint-free (queue video below).
Lil Wayne – Los Angeles Lakers–40% win ratio
Lil Wayne is a little less on the business side of things than our other celebrity super fans and more on the attention-grabbing side of things. The Young Money Entertainment mogul never comes to a Lakers game unnoticed. Maybe it’s because of his fame, or maybe it’s because of the fashion choices he makes. Lil Wayne isn’t modest when it comes to speaking his thoughts on social media either. Last season, the rapper took to twitter to voice his opinion on being allegedly kicked out of a Lakers vs. Heat game for rooting for the LA team (see video below). So, were the Lakers better off with or without Weezy in the arena? Well, during that particular game, the Lakers lost to the Heat. Whether it was due to game factors or sideline distractions is a matter of opinion. However, taking his attendance at other games into considerations, Los Angeles has won 40% of the games with the rapper sitting courtside.
Jay Z & Beyoncé – Brooklyn Nets–90% win ration
Similar to Drake’s role with the raptors, Jay Z was a huge part of the re-branding of the Nets when the franchise was moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn in 2012. The Brooklyn-born rapper has more star power than most, and adding Beyoncé to the picture only makes the couple that much more influential in anything they do; this rings true for sports as well. Both of the superstars have been seen shamelessly rocking Nets gear during concerts and other appearances. If this isn’t enough to convince you that the power couple has a positive influence on the team, consider the win-loss ratio with Mr. and Mrs. Carter in the arena: 90%. It seems that the two superstars could, in fact, be Brooklyn’s good luck charm. Jay Z even pulled a prank on Drake during the Nets vs. Raptors playoff game after Drake make a joke about Hova not being at the previous game. While playing a Jay Z song, a Brooklyn jersey was placed on the screen over Drake.
By Alexa Collinson for the ScoreBlog
Featured image credit: skw234567