Novak Djokovic gives Swan Hill a publicity smash at Australian Open
Swan Hill caught Novak fever in January 2016 and Digital54 did some heavy lifting by managing the social media campaign to try to persuade Novak to visit Swan Hill as well as get the town excited and behind "the Mallee Djoker".
Here's our social media journal of events as they happened (click on images to enlarge):
Swan Hill Lawn Tennis Club hosted the 60th Inter Regional tournament early January.
With the Australian Open only days away, tennis club officials set up this amazing photo with participants from all around Victoria, taken from a drone.
When Swan Hill sent a delegation of officials (including our mayor) and junior players down to Melbourne for the Open draw the friday before the tournament, they probably had no idea what to expect from Novak.
Those of us who didn't go started to get really excited with this tweet from Novak was released!
Expectations were not high at the Open draw that the Swan Hill delegation, the majority of which were kids, would meet Novak.
However as soon as Mayor Les McPhee and Swan Hill Lawn Tennis Club president Pete Morrison had ordained Novak as Swan Hill's mayor for the duration of the tournament and presented him with a bright blue "Mallee Djoker" t-shirt, he was off down the stairs to meet the kids who had travelled all the way from Swan Hill.
We didn't witness it but we can imagine how the kids felt as the Djoker came running down the stairs.
As part of our campaign to get locals engaged with the campaign and to show their support for Novak we designed this Facebook cover image that was used by businesses and individuals to show that they were on board.
BREAKING NEWS: Swan Hill's new Mayor Novak Djokovic has been spotted having his photo taken in front of Arnold the Cod during his tour of Swan Hill.
This was one of about 10 photos that were taken around town.
To be fair, Novak probably doesn't know much about Swan Hill but if he saw our graphic on Facebook and Twitter he'd know that we've got more grass tennis courts than Wimbledon!
How could he resist visiting us now?
During one of our planning meetings the idea of painting a mural came up. We discussed a few locations but the wall at the tennis club was perfect.
Sebastian Parseghian from Toyota had been coming to our meetings and he said that local signwriter Max Brereton was keen to do a painting.
We went down to meet Max and to photograph him doing an undercoat on the wall. We were going to ask our Facebook fans "what would you like Max to put on the wall" but we ended up creating an "artist's impression" of what the wall might look like when Max had finished.
Once Max's wall was completed we ask some junior players to hit some ball at it. Max's wall was a a smash hit with our local kids.
With a 6th Australian Open men's trophy now in his possession, we published this handy little map to help Novak find his way to Swan Hill on Monday 1 February with the trophy.
Reach - 2,788 people
Likes - 92
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Comments - 15
On Saturday 30 January, the day before the men's final against Andy Murray, Novak published a photo of him chilling out and "connecting" with a tree.
We saw the opportunity for another cheeky Facebook post - "if you like trees Novak, why not come and connect with Swan Hill's fabulous Moreton Bay Fig after the final?"
By lunchtime Monday our hopes of seeing Novak visit Swan Hill were diminishing and lunchtime reports on ABC radio suggested he was leaving the country that night.
As hopes of a visit fizzled out, all that was left was to say thanks (Novak) for the memories. The last 3 weeks had been quite a ride.
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Likes - 164
Shares - 23
Comments - 11
We're really proud of our town today.