Grizzlies Reaching Out to Fans

Copacino Gets the Assist as Vancouver’s NBA Team Launches Ads
LOS ANGELES–Copacino looks at pro basketball through the eyes of the fans in its first campaign for the Vancouver Grizzlies.
The broadcast and outdoor campaign for the National Basketball Association franchise broke earlier this month and will run in and around Vancouver, British Columbia, through the 1999-2000 season. Three humorous 30-second TV spots show various fans talking about their favorite players.
In one, an older Asian Canadian female grocer touts the Grizzlies’ Felipe Lopez with well-worn basketball jargon, explaining that if “you back up to stop the drive, Felipe pulls up and drains the ‘J.’ Boom, nothing but the net.” She adds, “I would feel so sorry for the other team if I wasn’t so busy laughing at them.”
A second spot features a pierced Gen X coffee bar attendant who believes he’s the inspiration for point guard Mike Bibby’s moves. “You know that killer crossover dribble? I taught him that,” he says.
“Hockey is a religion in Canada, but NBA basketball is a diversion and entertainment,” said Jim Copacino, the Seattle agency’s president and creative director. “We wanted to reflect that entertainment and fun [in the campaign].”
The third TV execution shows a stuffy, bespectacled English literature professor extolling the virtues of forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim with such lines as, “When Reef takes the rock to the rack, you better step back,” and “He’s sweet as honey, he’s money.”
The ads all end with the Grizzlies’ new tagline, “Believe it, baby,” which is also used in outdoor and radio executions.
The creative team on the campaign consisted of creative director Copacino, writer Dylan Tomaine, art director Sherelle Sinko and agency producer Sue Mowrer. The production company was Boz Films in Seattle; Todd Korgan served as director.
The agency was tapped by the Grizzlies last spring due to its well-received work for baseball’s Seattle Mariners, according to Copacino. The shop has also recently broken campaigns for and K