The Fan Zoo

July 06, 2011 09:00 ET

Vancouver Fans Use Social Media to Support Small Businesses Affected by Riot

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 6, 2011) - Vancouverites are using social media – the same online medium that allowed millions of global onlookers to instantly view the destruction of their city following the 2011 Stanley Cup final – to help restore the small business that were most impacted.

"I think a lot of Vancouverites felt helpless sitting behind their computers watching their favourite coffee and pizza shops being shattered by a small group of trouble makers, as the world looked on in shock," said Bobby Atwal, president of The Fan Zoo, a Vancouver based sports memorabilia company. "We wanted to empower Vancouver fans to show love and support for their city."

During the riot, many online influencers and celebrities used social media outlets to commentate on the events. Thousands of negative photos, videos, and comments, circulated the online channels elevating the Twitter hashtag, #DearVancouver, to a global trending topic. The Fan Zoo teamed up with, a Vancouver-based social media marketing agency, to launch a line of T-shirts with the text: #DEARVANCOUVER I LOVE YOU.

"There was an overwhelming sentiment from the majority of Vancouverites to restore pride and dignity in their city," said Azita Ardakani, founder of "We thought: why not take an existing global statement like #DearVancouver and turn it into something positive?"

Local hockey heroes, Alex Burrows, Darcy Hordichuk and Tanner Glass are encouraging their fans to buy the t-shirts on facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media channels. The T-shirts are selling for $20 at All net proceeds from the shirts are being donated to the Vancouver Restoration Fund, which is providing financial relief to businesses affected by the Vancouver riot that weren't able to cover losses through insurance. The goal is to raise $50k.

About The Fan Zoo

Connecting professional athletes with their communities of fans is what we're all about. Founded in 2003, by sports enthusiast Bobby Atwal, the Fan Zoo provides the highest quality of authentic sports memorabilia to the fans who love to support their favourite athletes. From autographed photos, framed prints, plaques, balls, sticks, to jerseys – we source out the merchandise you want, directly from the source. Visit


Lovesocial was founded on the premise of connecting people with things that matter by harnessing the power of social media. We create successful cause based and corporate initiatives that garner quality attention online and off. We believe in thoughtful integrated marketing and creating communities rooted in shared value.

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