The significance of the Illawarra Hawks signing US teen basketball sensation LaMelo Ball could be summed up by one action.
That was when former US President Barack Obama followed the region's NBL club on Twitter on Tuesday. And Hawks general manager Mat Campbell had a special message for the club's newest Twitter fan.
*Barack Obama is more than welcome to come and sit courtside at some stage throughout the season ..... if he can get a seat that is," Mr Campbell said with a smile.
The superstar US teenager announced his commitment to join the Hawks on ESPN in America in the early hours of Tuesday morning our time.
Ball, the younger brother of NBA star Lonzo Ball, has an enormous following on social media with 4.5 million Instagram followers. Such was the instant and meteoric impact of the signing announcement, club memberships were being sold at an unprecedented rate on Tuesday and the club's social media platforms sky rocketed.
"With the amount of social media he's got, it's huge and it's more the charisma of the guy," Campbell said.
"People will want to see him because of the level of skills he's got and people believe he's going to be a superstar, as do we and we're going to facilitate that for him."
Campbell said Ball's announcement would bring huge interest in the region globally.
"The Illawarra will go off the hook with people wanting to know where it is," he said. "I'm sure that everything that comes with being in the Illawarra, all the beaches and the like, he will showcase on his Instagram and to his 4.5 million followers."
Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh said the explosion on social media for the region was "unprecedented".
"Clearly the announcement brought social media reach this region has never seen before and unlikely to ever see again," Mr Sleigh said.
"You would imagine, given feedback seen in the first 12 hours alone, there would be travellers wanting to come from everywhere see this. This one 17-year-old will bring 4.5 million Instagram followers with him and that's very hard to get your head around what that really means."
The Illawarra Hawks started Tuesday with 9000 followers on Instagram and by late afternoon that figure had risen to 27,000.