The Power of Inclusion: From Sikh to Superfan

Panels & Conversations
Nov 13, 2019 2:30 PM
Hosted By Pinch Social
Glenn Gould Studio | 250 Front St W

This past year, the Toronto Raptors’ incredible run to their first-ever NBA championship dominated our hearts, minds, and feeds – not just in Toronto, but across the country – and even around the world. Many of us jumped on the bandwagon, but one “Superfan,” Nav Bhatia, hasn’t missed a game for the entire existence of the franchise – that’s every game for 24 years.

As all of us were gripped by Raptors fever, Superfan Nav Bhatia became a phenomenon both courtside and online, grabbing the attention of fans and brands alike, and forcing all of us as marketers to rethink what it means to be a true influencer. All of this has most recently earned him a nomination for the E! People’s Choice Award for “Most Hype Worthy Canadian of 2019.”

Nav will join us on stage for a live conversation about The Power of Inclusion: from Sikh to Superfan.

Nav Bhatia | ‘Superfan’ Toronto Raptors & 905 Ambassador

Nav Bhatia is best known as the Official Toronto Raptor`s Superfan. He has not missed a home game since the inception of the team in 1995. He can be seen in his now famous courtside seat A12 next to the basket. In 2015 Nav was also appointed the role of Raptor`s Community Ambassador as he looks to spread the love of basketball and the Toronto Raptors.

Arriving in Canada in 1984 with very little to his name Nav worked his way to becoming the number one car salesman at Hyundai and eventually found himself the opportunity to become an owner.

The path to success was not without challenges; in particular, Nav overcame many instances of racial intolerance as a visible minority. Through his love of basketball, Nav looks to change the perception of Sikhs and South Asians to the mainstream audience hoping for a more united community where people won’t have to face the discrimination Nav dealt with over the years.

Nav believes integrating our youth at a young age is truly the path to help change this perception and build a more tolerant society. Each year he purchases tickets and brings thousands of kids of all backgrounds together to watch the NBA’s Toronto Raptors play at home.

With the start of the Superfan Nav Bhatia Foundation, he recently has accepted ambassador roles with Canada Basketball and World Vision, all organizations helping Nav and his Foundation bring kids together by building basketball courts across the world.


Marivel Taruc | Award-Winning Journalist & Weekend Anchor, CBC Toronto News

Marivel Taruc is an award-winning journalist and weekend anchor of CBC Toronto News, Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 11 p.m. She is also the host of Our Toronto, which airs Saturdays at noon, and Sundays and Mondays at 11 a.m.

Previously, Marivel was the business anchor for CBC News: Morning. In her many positions, Marivel has interviewed top newsmakers of the day, including business leaders, star athletes and federal politicians. In 2016, Our Toronto won the prestigious Trina McQueen RTNDA Award for Television News Information Programming.

Taruc graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor’s Degree in  Journalism. She is happiest when she’s gathered around the dinner table with her husband and two daughters – and a plateful of Filipino food.