2007 was a big year for the Swannies. Below are some of the highlights:
- - It was the year that Hanoi and Saigon combined to form a national team, the Vietnam Swans.
- - The Vietnam Swans then made our inaugural appearance at the Asian Championships in Bangkok in July.
- - Players and officials for our first Asian Champs came from no fewer than 6 countries (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China, Singapore and Australia) to make it happen.
- Triple Brownlow Medalist, Bobby Skilton; Triple Premiership Player, Clarke Keating; and member of the SouthMelbourne/Sydney Swans’ Team of the Century, Tony Morwood, individually wrote to the Vietnam Swans in the lead up to the Champs to wish us luck.
- We commenced a relationship with Sponsor, Jim Beam where they actively used the Swans appearance at the Champs to market their product – ie, they sought genuine business value from the sponsorship (eg Jim Beam promotional posters that incorporated into the design the Swans appearance at the Champs.)
- In the lead up to the Champs, we launched the Vietnam Swans Blog which has since had more than 17,000 hits.
- The guys from Laos who played with us at the Champs – have since gone on to form their own Club, the Laos Elephants.
- We hosted a Tri Nations Tournament in Hanoi with Laos and Thailand that was combined with the netball. Approximately 200 people attended the after match function.
- We hosted a match in Saigon against Asian Champs Premiers’ the Hong Kong Dragons.
- We hosted a derby between Hanoi and Saigon in Saigon.
- We formed part of Austrade’s Australian Schools Open Day in both Saigon and Hanoi where we used footy to help differentiate the Australian education product. Club Sponsor, QBE Insurance, sponsored 900 Swans hats that were given away to attendees in the two cities.
- The Vietnam Swans received very generous support from sponsors for their third Grand Final Party in Hanoi and close to 200 people attended.
- In the lead up to the Grand Final, Vietnam Swans stalwart, Wayne Tinlin, was interviewed by ABC Radio in Australia.
- The Vietnam Swans ran the 2nd Grand Final Cyclo Parade in Hanoi on the Thursday prior to the Grand Final. A photograph subsequently appeared in Melbourne’s Herald Sun Newspaper and ABC Radio in Adelaide did a live interview with Wayne Bubbles Tinlin.
- The Swans continued to give back to the community by raising money for an organisation dealing with prostate cancer in Hanoi and also for the Loreto Foundation in Saigon which deals with disadvantaged children. On both occasions we raffled off Jim Beam bottles which were part of the original sponsorship from the Asian Champs.
- The Swans also gave sporting equipment to the orphanage in Hanoi that we have been associated with.
- The Swans held our 3rd Annual Golf Day in Melbourne on 29 December.
In many respects, 2007 has been a remarkable year for the Vietnam Swans. Congratulations to all involved – especially those involved with the Asian Champs.
We are now extremely well positioned to have a very strong 2008. For a sneak preview of 2008, tune in to the blog tomorrow – the 1st Day of the New Year.