This past weekend I was fortunate enough to head down to check out a brand new pop-up event presented by NBA Canada & OLG, to get fans excited for this year’s playoffs! For a visual tour inside check out the video below and then read below for all the details!
950 Dupont Street, Toronto, Ontario – (Parking should be available on the street, it is a bit crowded)
How was I able to attend? What do I need to know before going there?
Just like how you are able to attend, it is free admission to those who register and are of 18 years of age! You can register here: https://www.nbawinnerscorner.com/
Please keep in mind that time inside is limited so choose wisely.
When Can I Go?
The pop up was first to open on April 13th and April 14th. However, it will re-open for April 19th & April 20th.
OLG Infinity Room
I’m listing this one first because this is what was advertised first and also what many people would like to see the most, the Larry O’Brien Trophy aka The NBA Finals/Championship Trophy. Because of how anticipated this one activation is, you only have 30 seconds inside this infinity room. Of course, I wore my Think 16 – Kevin McHale Converse Fast Break Hi for this event, unfortunately, I forgot the tag was on the other right shoe which is why you don’t see it here. For more on the outfit check out this post.
HIT OR MISS Pop-A-Shot
This was a really fun activation to take part in, the only downside is that you need to face someone to participate. Also, after competing you get a free Hit or Miss ticket that you can redeem at the OLG station.
LOTTO MAX Champions Room
This is the activation that had the most memorabilia and maybe the most essential element of this experience. In this one room, you are able to be educated about the different teams and key players who shined throughout the years for their personal careers, teams and the league as a whole! As you can see below, there are posters and photos from key moments in NBA history, that make the wall art really pop (the neon NBA logo display helps too).
It was surreal to see so many items from such memorable games from jerseys to shoes. I think the trading cards were also a great touch to add to the nostalgic theme.
The one piece of this activation that had the most photo ops from the attendees (including myself) was the mini-locker room display which featured jerseys of legendary and iconic players. They even added some old televisions to go with the nostalgic and progressive theme.
NBA Theatre Room featuring Beats by Dre & SUBPAC
This was a really interesting experience and absolute goals for a home theatre system. They only allow 6 people max at a time to experience this 4-minute video compiling of great NBA Finals moments with Toronto Raptors edition Apple Beats headphones and a special SUBPAC seating system that vibrates to compliment the audio playing in the video. I didn’t have a picture inside the room (but a preview can be seen in my YouTube video), but you can take a picture with this display of the NBA Logo and all teams near the theatre.
OLG T-shirt Customization Station
It’s always cool to have a merch option set up at a pop-up experience but I think this was the one element that was pretty underwhelming, in my opinion. The clothing options included a t-shirt or hoodie available with the NBA logo or the NBA Finals logo (Larry O’Brien Trophy). Customization is free but the price of the t-shirt and hoodie is $40 and $60 respectively. The main reason why I think it was disappointing because of the customization option; you are only allowed to screen print a team’s logo onto the apparel. Also, if you wanted the gear that had the finals trophy, you can only choose a team that has won the title (makes sense, sorry Raptors fans for hopeful wishing).
I do regret not participating in this now as I reflect. In all honesty, I was fearing the embarrassment of shooting an airball from the 3 point line but I did see others take lay-ups. Nonetheless, it looked fun but I don’t know if I would’ve scored any buckets with my KG jeans on (NBA on TNT fans should get that reference).
LOTTO 6/49 Golden Ticket Room
As you saw in the video, when you enter you receive a passport for the event so you can see all the different activations, but you also get a special ticket. You redeem that special ticket at the end. You can see me redeeming it by selecting a briefcase (go with the number or choose another one) to see what prizes you can win (including playoff tickets). I ended up getting a keychain which I still like because it is of my second favourite team, the San Antonio Spurs.
In addition to the Gatorade, they also give you a really cool goodie bag. If you haven’t seen the video yet, I do show you what’s inside. Once again, it is awesome to get all this free stuff for something you didn’t have to pay!
What was really interesting to see is the way they carefully selected items to help tell the story of how the NBA has developed throughout the years whether it was through the different TVs, shoes, or the jerseys. For example, the game-worn or autographed jerseys, if you look closely on Rick Barry’s jersey you can see the company that produced is not Nike or Adidas, but Wilson!
All in all, I had a great time going to this pop-up and checking it out. I do recommend it for anyone who has the time to plan a trip next time they are open because you get to fuel your excitement for the NBA playoffs, get cool free stuff and maybe even meet some NBA legends. Let me know what you think about the activation after seeing this post and/or checking it out for yourselves! Subscribe via email to be notified when other great content becomes available!