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Drake Future of TV Nike

How Drake became a marketing powerhouse


By Yale Buchwald, Contributor

March 1, 2016 | 4 min read

Aubrey Graham, better known by the world as Drake (or by his Instagram handle “champagnepapi”), is one of the biggest rappers in the world right now. The Canadian rapper has produced various albums and mixtapes since 2009, each achieving widespread success. In September 2015, he and fellow rapper Future released an album together, “What a Time to Be Alive”. In the past couple of weeks, Drake has announced his plans to release another solo album “Views from the 6” this coming April.

Besides his immensely successful music career, Drake has slowly evolved into one of the best marketers in the world. His personal brand, and presence in today’s media is almost inescapable.

Building a career in TV from Degrassi to Sprite:

Almost every average Drake fan knows he began his career on the Canadian TV show, “Degrassi: The Next Generation”. From the young age of 15, Drake knew he could make a name for himself, and he recognized TV was the best way to do so. Fast forward to 2010. Already pretty big in the rap and music world, Drake signed his first major endorsement deal - with Sprite, a brand known for using other well-known rappers and celebrities in their campaigns. Drake’s deal with Sprite is still going on; this past June, his rap lyrics appeared on limited edition Sprite cans.

Building a fashion brand with Nike:

During a concert in 2013, Drake announced his plans to sign with Nike’s famed Jordan brand (Drake’s newest Jordan 10s are set at a hefty $225 price tag). His record label, OVO (October’s Very Own), even sells its own Drake merchandise - from sweatshirts to iPhone cases.

Turning his Raptors fandom in a strong relationship with the NBA:

Drake, a lifelong Toronto Raptors fan, announced in 2013 that he would become the Raptors’ team ambassador. In this year’s NBA All-Star Game, held in Toronto, Drake coached one of the Celebrity Game teams, and even handled the player introductions during the actual All-Star Game.

Becoming a leader in technology with Apple:

Drake even dabbles in the technology world - with none other than Apple. In June 2015, at Apple’s annual WWDC conference, he was part of the Apple Music launch. There have been rumors that Apple even funded Drake’s “Hotline Bling” music video.

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