(Photo credit: AmirJohnson.com)
At the Toronto Raptors final home game of the NBA season vs. the New Jersey (soon to be Brooklyn) Nets on Thursday, the Toronto Raptors treated the fans to a night of fun called ‘Fanapalooza’, giving away prizes all night in appreciation of the fans support all season long.
Similarly, Amir Johnson did the same a couple of weeks ago at his 2nd annual ‘I Roll With Amir’ event where lucky fans get to enjoy food, a game, and socializing with Amir himself and some surprise guests as a personal thank you from Amir for the fans’ support.
Our latest blog contributor and fellow Raptors fan, Ryan Aleong, had the chance to experience this unique & generous experience hosted by Amir. He’s been kind enough to give us all a recap of an evening he won’t soon forget:
“The opportunity to meet and interact with professional athletes has always been difficult. Signing events, meet & greets, or random sightings are usually the closest you can get. However, social media has helped bridge the gap between fans and the sports personalities they have grown to admire. Many athletes have their own Facebook and/or Twitter accounts and will reply to status updates or react to tweets. The evening of Monday April 16, Raptors forward Amir Johnson took it one step further by bringing 50 fans together for his 2nd annual “I Roll With Amir“ event.
There were 25 tickets winners in all, each entitled to bring a guest with them to the event. Similar to last year, Amir treated his fans to a pre-game meal, tickets to attend the Raptors game (versus the Atlanta Hawks), followed by a post-game dinner. In order to attend, Amir (@IAmAmirJohnson) and his friend Veezy (@thisisveezy247) ensured that true fans were making every attempt to be at the event. Using Twitter to announce where tickets might be obtained, supporters could either get a “golden ticket” directly from Veezy or enter creative contests to win one.
Pre-game festivities began with winners meeting at St. Louis Wings for some nachos, wings, and potato wedges. Tickets to the game were also provided here, and despite the 22 point loss a great time was had by all. Following the game, winners moved over to e11even and were treated to their signature roast chicken, served with mashed potatoes and country stuffing. Amir took the time to greet each and every one of the attendees and thank them for coming out. Fellow teammates DeMar DeRozan, Alan Anderson, and Ben Uzoh were in attendance, as well as special assistant Jay Triano, to support Amir. The Raptor dropped by to add to the entertainment for the evening.
Another private event followed dinner, as guests were escorted up to room where Amir had a couple surprises in store. 4 random winners were treated to signed & autographed authentic Amir Johnson Raptors jerseys. In addition, Amir provided each winner with a signed & personalized ticket to commemorate the evening and all attendees received a swag bag from the Raptors.
My thanks go to Amir Johnson, Veezy, and all involved for executing another successful “I Roll With Amir” event. I have been privileged to attend both, and cannot speak highly enough about his dedication and commitment to the fans who support him and the Raptors.“