Turning the table on Dean Lee


October 19, 2023

Turning the table on Dean Lee

Dean Lee, Executive Creative Director, Zulu Alpha Kilo BC, 2023 Applied Arts Advertising Awards juror, along with his creative team, worked on the VANBACK campaign – Recruiting billionaires to bring the NBA back to Vancouver. He describes the making of the campaign and the importance of this campaign for him and his team.

Project overview: 
The VANCITY ORIGINAL® brand has been part of the Vancouver streetwear and basketball scene since 1998 when the NBA used to be in Vancouver. To celebrate the VANCITY ORIGINAL® brand’s 25th anniversary, we wanted to make some noise and help bring the NBA back to the city. On NBA draft day, we launched the VANBACK campaign to recruit a team of billionaires, with ultra-exclusive jerseys offered for $200 Million each on the VANBACK.CA site. Our goal? $3 billion pledged. Enough to buy an NBA team.



vanback patch


What were some unique features of the campaign?
A sample custom jersey worth $200,000,000 was put on display and flanked by security guards at the VANCITY ORIGINAL® store to draw attention to our initiative. The full story was featured on VANBACK.CA where fans could make their own virtual jersey to join the movement. Everyone could follow along @teamvanback on Instagram where we made shout-outs to local billionaires and celebrities to join the team and support the cause.


Vanback website


What were the success stats or indicators?
Within six weeks of launch, there were over 20,000 site visits, over 140,000 video views and over 2,000,000 media impressions, getting lots of goodwill for the VANCITY ORIGINAL® brand and Vancouver back on the radar as a city for a future NBA team.



Why is this particular project a fave? 

When Zulu Alpha Kilo opened in Vancouver, we said we wanted to partner with local businesses to create game-changing ideas. This PR project for VANCITY ORIGINAL® brand to help bring the NBA back to Vancouver is a great example of that mission.

Congratulations on a great campaign!