PayBright, a Toronto-based FinTech startup, has teamed up with the creator of the iconic Toronto Raptors’ NBA championship ring to help basketball fans purchase replica versions.
Baron Championship Rings is the Tecumseh, Ontario-based company that was chosen by the Raptors to create the extravagant 2019 rings, having also created a number of other championship rings in the past. The ring maker has now partnered with PayBright to enable instant e-commerce payment plans, allowing Raptor fans to get their hands on the replicas.
Each ring has more than 650 diamonds, a record for any NBA championship ring.
Founded in 2009, PayBright offers flexible payment plan options for a variety of goods and services, working with brands like Endy, eBay, Samsung, and Wayfair. The Baron, PayBright partnership enables customers to instalment payments for the replica ring, over 12, 18, or 24 month periods.
The Raptor players received their championship rings at a pre-game ceremony before the season opener in Toronto, on October 22, where forward Pascal Siakam made history with an impressive 34 points, 18 rebounds, and five assists, joining Vince Carter as the only other Raptor in NBA history to post a 30-15-5 stat line.
Baron, along with a small committee that included Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, designed and created 20 authentic rings, which were handed out to players, staff, Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia, and Drake. Made of out 14-karat yellow gold, each ring has more than 650 diamonds, a record for any NBA championship ring, with all the gold and diamonds sourced from within Canada.
The ring features a chevron spelling out ‘North’ in diamonds, as well as the skyline of Toronto. The 74 diamonds on the front-facing centrepiece of the ring represent the 58 wins the Raptors had in the regular season, combined with the 16 post-season games that led to their historic victory. The ring also features a 1.25 carat diamond on its face, standing out amongst the chevron and skyline, and is said to be the largest single diamond used in any championship ring ever. Each player’s ring is also individualized with their name and jersey number.
16 rubies adorn the side of the ring, representing the 16 playoff games it took to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The rubies are alongside numbers that each represent a different player who helped Toronto bring the trophy home. There is also a nod to the fact that the Raptors are not just Toronto’s, but Canada’s team, with a ruby-encrusted maple leaf. Finally, each player and staffer got to personalize their ring, with an engraving on the underside. Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, who earned himself an NBA Finals MVP vote for his clutch play and hot shooting, chose “Bet On Yourself” as a reminder to everyone that he entered the league as an undrafted rookie. He joined Siakam as one of six Raptors players to score 30 or more points in a season opener.
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Along with the 20 diamond-encrusted rings, 20,000 replicas were handed out to fans that attended the season opener. It didn’t take long for reports of those fans selling their replica rings online to surface, with stories of attendees reselling rings for hundreds of dollars.
Baron and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment are now utilizing PayBright’s payment options to sell replicas online, offering everything from the ring, to pendants, charms, and paperweight versions. Baron noted that there are three tiers of rings available for purchase on its website, with prices ranging from $75 to $4,950. For Raptors fans who want their chips with the dip, the ring maker also offers the ability for customers to customize their rings.
“We’re excited that Raptors fans can now pay over time with PayBright when ordering their Raptors NBA championship rings,” said Wayne Pommen, president and CEO of PayBright. “After customizing their rings on Baron’s site, customers can select PayBright as a payment method to split their payments over 12, 18, or 24 months while enjoying their rings right away.”
Image source Toronto Raptors via Instagram. With files from Douglas Soltys (real ones know).