Drake and Migos Tour

Source: Lourdes Sukari / Lourdes Sukari

Strategic partnerships are essential for the exposure and growth of any business. Striking the right partnership deal can launch the brands involved into entirely new stratospheres of notoriety. We’ve seen this happen with Yeezy and Adidas, Fenty and Puma, Jay-Z and Samsung, Beyonce and Netflix, and the list goes on.

Drake’s OVO collective is no stranger to impactful partnerships. They’ve inked deals with the Toronto Raptors and Jordan Brand, most recently, in successful efforts to grow the brand’s footprint. It’s paid dividends as the Toronto Raptors brought home the NBA championship after seasons full of OVO-branded court and jersey design, as well as a state of the art practice facility dawning the OVO name.

The infamous OVO owl has become synonymous with the growth of Toronto’s pop culture relevance over the last decade. With the announcement of their partnership with the Royal Bank of Canada, it seems Drake and his comrades have their finger on the pulse of genius business dealings. A partnership of this magnitude is bigger than co-branded athletic wear, or even merging brand power with an NBA team.

As part of the partnership deal, RBC clients will receive access both to the OVO Summit later this year and to a range of content and experiences produced by OVO. The RBC has 10 million clients, so you do the math on the amount of revenue this could drive in ticket sales and package purchases.

The OVO Summit is an immersive conference for Canadian creatives and lifestyle entrepreneurs looking to grow their careers, hone their skills and make a lasting impact on the creative economy in Canada. Toronto’s cultural sector is worth $9 billion dollars of the city’s total Gross Domestic Product. Just about every creative sector in Toronto has seen an upswing in investment and revenue in recent decades.

Between 1991 and 2009, the creative industries grew at the same rate as tourism (at an average annual rate of 2.9 percent) and faster than financial services (2.4 percent), the medical and biotechnology industries (1.7 percent), and the food and beverage industry (1.4 percent). Foreign major production investment in film and television grew to $794 million in 2016, a 49 percent increase from 2015. The number of television pilot projects filmed in Toronto doubled from 2011-2016.

OVO’s partnership with the RBC to launch a summit that established OVO as an authoritative resource in Toronto’s fastest growing economic sector is what we call a legacy play. Forget popularity and cultural relevance — OVO is being set as a valuable piece of the city’s revenue infrastructure. Genius isn’t even the word to describe this type of move. Drake enjoys the benefit of representing an entire country versus just one city. He happens to be from the most popular Canadian city, by default he stands as a representative for an entire country.

Pay close attention to the moves he and his partners are making on the business front. In a city as diverse as Toronto, creativity and culture are at the forefront of the cities growth, and OVO is sure to be the engine pushing it to new economic heights.