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CLIVE Palmer has tweeted he hopes to make it to Bendigo for the WNBL grand final on Sunday.
The Bendigo Spirit’s opponents Townsville Fire started a social media campaign “Bring Clive to Bendigo” after its preliminary final win.
The Spirit joined the campaign today as did the City of Greater Bendigo, who offered to make him mayor for a day - on two conditions.
Palmer is the major sponsor of the Townsville Fire and saved the club from extinction two years ago.
“If Townsville wins on Sunday, I’m prepared to make Clive Palmer mayor for a day,” Bendigo mayor Cr Lisa Ruffell said.
''If Townsville loses, as I expect they will, Clive should agree to don Bendigo Spirit’s team colours for a full day when he’s next in Townsville.”
Cr Ruffell said Mr Palmer was a national figure who was most welcome in Bendigo.
“Clive brings publicity wherever he goes and I think he will jump at the chance to be Mayor of the best regional city in Australia,” she said.
“The offer is conditional, though, on him turning up to watch the final on Sunday.”
Cr Ruffell has announced plans to hold a civic reception for the Bendigo Bank Spirit in the Bendigo Town Hall next Tuesday – win or lose.
The Bendigo Bank Spirit is supporting a campaign for mining magnate Clive Palmer to attend Sunday’s WNBL grand final at Bendigo Stadium.
Spirit’s grand final opponents Townsville Fire started the social media campaign “Bring Clive to Bendigo” after its preliminary final win over Dandenong.
Mr Palmer is Fire’s major sponsor. His company, Queensland Nickel, saved the club from extinction two years ago.
Fire chairwoman Jayne Arlett has formally invited Mr Palmer to the game.
“Basically without him the team wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t be in the grand final against Bendigo, so we reckon Clive should come down to watch it,” Ms Arlett said.
She hopes the social media campaign can gather enough momentum to entice Mr Palmer to Bendigo. He is an avid social media user, with almost 15,000 followers on Twitter.
“He is engaged in Twitter,” Ms Arlett said. “His address is @CliveFPalmer (and) we’ve created a hashtag #BringCliveToBendigo.”
“We would love it if everyone in Bendigo could do a tweet that’s got a hashtag and Clive’s name and invite him down.”
Spirit chairman Jeremi Moule welcomed any extra promotion Mr Palmer’s presence would bring.
“This type of event is about more than just the team,” Mr Moule said.
“It would be a massive boost for the city to have someone of his prominence attend the game and it would only increase the interest in the event.”
Mr Palmer is on a business trip to London, where he officially launched his multi-million dollar replica project “Titanic II” at a dinner for 500 guests.
Queensland Nickel managing director Phil Collins was unsure of Mr Palmer’s whereabouts yesterday, but confirmed his love of social media.
“He did make the point that with the Titanic dinner he was probably the biggest issue on social media for the best part of a week and second only to the Oscars when they were on,” Mr Collins said.
Mr Palmer will return to Australia in the coming days and Mr Collins believes his boss is a chance to come to Bendigo.
“I have spoken to him a couple of times since the Fire won on Sunday,” he said.
“It just depends on his schedule and what sort of unfinished business he’s got to attend to after being away for a couple of weeks. It’s just a bit of fun and it would be great to get him down there, if you guys would let him in the stadium.”
It is unclear how Mr Palmer might get to the match. Mr Collins was unsure if his boss’s private jet would be able to land at Bendigo Airport
“I don’t know, he might have to make some inquiries,” he said.
The WNBL grand final tips off at 3.45pm on Sunday.