How One Tweet Far Exceeded My Expectations

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by Scott de Fasselle
Kirtland Hornets football championship graphic

A well-timed graphic with a specific audience can produce results.

On Friday, December 5th, 2014, the Kirtland Hornets were playing in their fourth consecutive state championship game. Since I went to high school there (years ago), and have a passion for sports, I knew I wanted to design something to honor the school and my old hometown.

I created a graphic showcasing six players from the past four years and head coach Tiger LaVerde, and made it available as a downloadable wallpaper for smartphones, tablets, and desktops. When the game ended in a last minute defeat, I quickly uploaded the graphic and tweeted this…

Now before I jump into the stats for this tweet, I should point out the following:

  • Kirtland High School only has about 400 students
  • This was the Division VI state championship game
  • I only had 50 followers at the time (and none of them associated with the team)

I know the above info is hardly impressive, but based on the limited audience and knowing people would be jumping on Twitter after the game, I was really excited to see what would happen. I would not be disappointed, and I would be even more surprised in the coming weeks.

Within the first 24-hours the tweet attracted:

  • 24 favorites
  • 35 link clicks
  • 361 embedded media clicks
  • 2,291 impressions

On Monday morning, I wrote a brief email, attached the graphic, and sent it to coach LaVerde. Within a couple hours, I had an excited response from coach LaVerde and he was wondering if we could make the graphic into a poster for the team. We exchanged a few emails, and I told him I couldn’t sell or print the poster since I didn’t have the rights to the photos from The Plain Dealer or The News-Herald. I also expressed my concern that the licensing rights to the photos could be quite expensive. Based on my excitement after receiving emails from coach LaVerde, other coaches, and parents of players, I tracked down the appropriate people at both papers. After explaining the poster would be given to 150 football players in Kirtland (youth players plus the high school team), I was able to negotiate very reasonable licensing fees for every photo.

With the photo licensing fees resolved and a professional printer volunteering to print the posters, the graphic went to print as a 24” x 36” poster. Beyond the satisfaction of the seeing the Kirtland Hornets football graphic move beyond digital screens to become ink on paper, I received two very kind gestures of appreciation that I never expected. First, part way through the project coach LaVerde hand wrote me a thank you note. Secondly, the day before my copy of the poster arrived, I found a brown box on my doorstep. When I opened it, I was surprised to see a Kirtland football helmet signed by the team (shown below).

Thank you to everyone of for your support and enthusiasm to make the poster a reality. Congratulations to the Kirtland Hornets football team, coaching staff, and community.

Kirtland football helmet signed by the team

Written by Scott de Fasselle

May 26th, 2015 at 10:32 am

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