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The game begins: Lint roller sellers battle over a basketball move

Rapper Drake holds a shirt bearing his name and Toronto's area code during a break in the Toronto Raptors-Brooklyn Nets NBA basketball game in Toronto.


Persuasion Notebook offers quick hits on the business of persuasion from The Globe and Mail's marketing and advertising reporter, Susan Krashinsky. Read more on The Globe's marketing page and follow Susan on Twitter @Susinsky.

The Toronto Raptors took to the court with high hopes in Toronto against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, but as the teams prepared for tip-off, two brands also butted heads – over lint rollers, of all things.

The rapper Drake, who is also working with the team on its rebranding project, was caught on tape using a lint roller on his pants during game two of the series. People shared and joked about the moment on social media. And we all know what that means: It was only a matter of time before marketing directors decided they wanted in on the fun.

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Before the game on Wednesday, IKEA Canada tweeted, "No lint in our house! We're giving out IKEA lint rollers before tonight's game." It later followed up with a location at an intersection close to the Air Canada Centre.

But wait, the Raptors already have an official lint roller provider. (Of course they do.) Procter & Gamble's Bounce brand decided to capitalize on the new-found cool factor of lint removal with limited-edition rollers sporting the Raptors logo as well as Drake's signature owl logo.

"Bounce is an official partner of the Raptors and theirs was the only promotional item endorsed by both the team and Drake." said a Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment spokesperson.

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