Sony Music Entertainment Australia’s sporting division just got a whole lot more iconic.
The music major has signed on rugby league greats Johnathan Thurston and Andrew Johns to its Parade Sports Management division.
The brand ambassador arrangement with Johnathan Thurston, who has made The Cowboys the most popular team on Fox Sports this season, is a first for both parties: it’s an exclusive JV with his long-time manager, Sam Ayoub.
As an exclusive brand ambassador for Parade Sports and Sony Music Entertainment, Thurston will “represent Sony Music, along with its artists, live events and other activities.”
Additionally, Parade Sports will work with Sam Ayoub in sourcing endorsement and other commercial opportunities for Thurston.
Johnathan Thurston said:
“Denis and I really hit it off when we met in the Queensland State of Origin Camp over a decade ago, and we have always had a strong bond through sport and music. I’m also really excited about Parade Sports working with my manager, Sam, on helping further my career off the field.”
Denis Handlin AO has been serving as a Mentor of the Queensland State of Origin team for over a decade. Through his connection with sports he has seen Thurston inspire and mentor up-and-coming players over the years.
“JT has earned the admiration of the rugby league community and sporting world as one of the greatest players ever,” said Handlin. “Even with all the accolades he receives, Johnathan remains humble […] I have always felt a special bond with JT because my late brother taught and coached him at Acacia Ridge School in Brisbane.”
Andrew Johns, one of the eight Rugby League Immortals, has signed a worldwide management representation agreement with Parade Sports for the company to exclusively manage “all aspects of Andrew’s coaching, endorsement, media, speaking and other business opportunities.”
Andrew Johns said of the signing:
“It is a pleasure to team up with Denis and Parade Sports Management. Over many years now, I have always admired the way Denis and his team have developed Australian artists, and now media and sports professionals’ careers. I look forward to the many ways we can work together across media, sports and corporate activities.”
Denis Handlin AO said:
“Joey and I go back many years. He has forged a very strong media career following his brilliant playing days. We are delighted to now have the opportunity to assist him extend his media career as well as commercial opportunities, such as in the corporate area where he can provide valuable insights into leadership and team work.”
Sony Music’s Parade Sports Management is a division of the Talentworks Parade joint venture. In June, Parade Management struck a joint venture with Glenn Wheatley’s Talentworks to create Talentworks Parade which manages artists and promotes touring events.
The combined roster represented by Talentworks and Parade for management include Sony Music recording artists John Farnham and Jessica Mauboy, Samantha Jade, Anthony Callea, Dami Im and Justice Crew, Adam Harvey and Stan Walker.
Parade expanded into sports management in 2015 with the signing of legendary rugby league player, captain and coach, Mal Meninga. Parade Sports negotiated Meninga’s NRL arrangement to coach the Australian ‘Kangaroos’ Rugby League team and will soon be announcing his new brand initiative.