The Day that Dom Dropped a Bomb
By South Break Media CEO Julian O’Brien
There are moments and then there are … moments.
Coming out of COVID in 2021, which had impacted the previous National Basketball League seasons, the Sydney Kings realised we needed exposure, and we needed political support of the highest order.
Early after taking on the role of director of communications and media with the Kings, myself and South Break Media cofounder and Kings majority owner Paul Smith embarked on a plan to make then NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet the club’s No. 1 ticket holder.
The move would add credibility to what we were doing and valuable mainstream media coverage the club needed launching into the new season.
What happened we couldn’t have prepared for.
The logistics of the exercise were not simple. Both the full playing lists of the Kings and Flames were assembled to a basketball court at Sydney’s The Rocks District (KGV Recreation Centre), not the easiest feat in Sydney midweek.
Then there was the Premier’s security detail and requirements which needed to be catered for. However, working closely with the Premier’s Department would forge relationships which would ironically assist us at the end of the season in organising a Championship celebration on Sydney’s iconic foreshore just three days after our historic NBL title win that season.
The Premier’s Department was keen for the event to be a News Ltd exclusive and so it was organised. A Daily Telegraph photographer and coverage from journalist Matt Logue was secured. At the time it was foreseen as a gimmicky picture opportunity…
So, the scene was set. The entire playing groups were there in full kit. The Premier’s security detail was in place. We just needed the Premier.
Fair to say Paul and I were a little apprehensive as we waited for the Premier to arrive.
Suddenly the Premier’s vehicle arrived at the front door and out stepped Domonic Perrottet. A keen and enthusiastic basketball supporter, Premier Perrottet bounced into the stadium enthusiastically greeting Paul and the waiting players like a primary school kid meeting his idols. But it was what happened next which tipped the event on its head.
Paul presented Dom with his personalised Kings jersey and the Premier took a ball from King import Jarell Martin. Without skipping a beat, the Premier stepped up to the top of the key and subsequently nailed a jump shot. First attempt. Nothing but net.
It was hailed as a three-pointer – “Premier Dominic Perrottet nails three-pointer on first attempt as he is unveiled as Kings and Flames No.1 fan” the web headline would later scream – but in truth he was a step inside. Never let truth get in the way of a good story though.
Both our videographer and the Premier’s Department had managed to capture the Premier’s freak shot and what the Daily Tele saw as a picture opportunity, everyone now realised was a viral social media and news broadcast moment. The Premier’s Office was keen to break with the vision first. Subtle negotiations then had to be had to ensure that News Limited got first use of the vision.
As a result, our simple promotional opportunity, by early that afternoon, was the lead story on the Daily Telegraph and the biggest news site in the country news.com.au and vision of Dom’s shot would lead news bulletins and be seen across the country.
You can read Matt Logue’s story and view the vision here
That one relationship, that one event, that one shot gave us exposure and recognition we could never have paid for, as well as forging a relationship with the NSW Government which would prove invaluable.
This is the power of a good media opportunity… and just a touch of luck.
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