Monday saw the special announcement of the Sydney Thunders prized recruit Michael Hussey. The Sydney Thunder is a client of Sports Geek and Sean and I were on hand for the day to assist and help with the coverage. Having exclusive behind the scenes access was a great chance to see how the Sydney Thunder were able to generate excitement and leverage off their big signing digitally through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

#WelcomeHuss Begins

The day started with the announcement becoming official with posts via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These posts directed fans on how to follow the day via Twitter (@Thunderbbl) and the introduction of the #WelcomeHuss hash tag which encouraged fans to welcome Michael Hussey and spread the exciting news.

Facebook #WelcomeHuss

Huss has signed! Welcome him to @thunderbbl #welcomehuss #goodtobegreen

A post shared by Sydney Thunder (@thunderbbl) on

With fans spreading the word they were also encouraged to leave a personal message for Hussey via the Facebook petition app. It was great to see the app was mobile friendly as the link was published across the different social platforms therefore greatly improving fan reach as it was easily accessible.

#Welcomehuss Petition Facebook

#WelcomeHuss Petition Thanks

#ThunderStruck via Helicopter

The announcement although officially confirmed earlier in the morning online was then followed by Mr Crickets grand entry at ANZ Stadium. Descending from the sky was it a bird? A plane? A thunder bolt? It was Michael Hussey arriving in style in a special ‘Sydney Thunder’ helicopter for the awaiting media, dignitaries and special guests.

The branding for the arrival was perfectly set up for the media. The helicopter had a large decal of the Thunders logo, food was decorated in the clubs colours of lime green along with staff and players dressed accordingly to greet Mr Cricket. It was easy to see why some other teams may have been little envious.

My role for the day was assisting with the Thunders twitter page, responding to posts and ‘favouriting’ tweets while also collecting images of the day’s events for use on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

The mornings twitter activity lead to the Sydney Thunder being a trending topic while also developing some friendly banter with opponents the Perth Scorchers. Maximus Thunder, Sydney's mascot also replied offering a lime green cupcake to settle things.

There was also support from Husseys IPL team the Chennai Super Kings, as they tweeted a #WelcomeHuss message along with the link to the facebook app for fans to leave theirs. Current Thunder players were encouraged to send tweets from their personal accounts to support the coverage. This also helped increase their own followings as there were regular interactions between the Thunders account and players. This helped set the platform for the Thunder as they aim to run Q&A’s throughout the season so fans are able to interact directly with the players.

I also had the pleasure of holding the sponsors banner during interviews, which might not sound like much but being able to hear Michael Hussey answer the questions from the media was an amazing experience. It’s rare to find athletes who are genuine and well spoken during interviews and it seems that the Thunder haven’t just got themselves a great cricketer but also someone who can represent the organisation with class along with captain Michael Clarke.

Once the interviews had concluded for Hussey and the rest of the players in attendance (Luke Doran, Daniel Hughes, Cameron Borgas Kurtis Patterson and Chris Tremain) were off to Westfield Parramatta to sign autographs.


The finale two events of the day were aimed at conveying one of the key messages of the day, that being Community. The player’s appearance at Westfield Parramatta within the heartland of their fan base was an opportunity to present their new players to the fans. These moments all captured through numerous lens for photos and videos by the Sydney Thunder team to be used immediately and later on.

Great turnout for #welcomehuss See you all at @anzstadium this summer!

A post shared by Sydney Thunder (@thunderbbl) on

The day wrapped up with the players helping out at Wentworthville Leagues Cricket Club cricket clinic. This was covered by the channel Ten weather team hosted by Tim Bailey. This was a great opportunity for channel Ten to promote their coverage of the Big Bash league at the end of the year.

Cam Borgas with young Thunder fans! Get ready for the live cross on Channel 10 to #welcomehuss

A post shared by Sydney Thunder (@thunderbbl) on


The day’s events were orchestrated to perfection, along with the successful covering via social media platforms. The Sydney Thunder team worked seamlessly together covering the day, as everyone pitched in collecting video footage and images. The use of the petition app via Facebook, the player’s appearances captured throughout the day on Twitter and Instagram, along with the effective use of hash tags gave their fans every opportunity to be involved in every step of the signing day and their engagement was noticed as Facebook comments were answered in a timely manner along with twitter questions.

The main experience taken from the day regarding the social content covered is that it is important to plan and have a structure for the day, but more importantly to be flexible and take advantage of the opportunities which arise. The quick thinking replies to the Scorchers developed into some exciting competitive banter, capturing the excited fans at Westfield and the players teaching at the clinic, gave an insightful experience to fans following.

Therefore it's important to be on your toes and ready: