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Parade Sports | Rugby League icons Johnathan Thurston and Andrew Johns Sign Deals with Sony Music

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Sony Music Entertainment Australia is delighted to announce the signing of deals with two of the greatest rugby league players of all time – Johnathan Thurston and Andrew Johns, through its Parade Sports Management division.

Denis Handlin AO, Chairman & CEO, Sony Music Entertainment Australia & New Zealand and President, Asia and Director of Parade Sports, and JOHNATHAN THURSTON, announced the arrangement to the Sony Music and Parade staff in Sydney on Friday 22 September at Sony Music’s East Sydney headquarters.

The arrangement with Johnathan Thurston is a first in that it is an exclusive JV with his long-time manager, Sam Ayoub.

Johnathan Thurston, widely regarded as one of the greatest Rugby League players of all time, has signed an exclusive brand ambassador agreement with Sony Music Entertainment.  Under the agreement, Johnathan will represent Sony Music, along with its artists, live events and other activities. 

Additionally as part of the agreement, Sony Music’s Parade Sports Management, a division of the Talentworks Parade joint venture, will work with Johnathan’s management, Sam Ayoub of Ultra Management, in sourcing endorsement and other commercial opportunities for Johnathan.

In a separate signing for Parade Sports, ANDREW JOHNS, one of the eight Rugby League Immortals, has signed a worldwide management representation agreement with the company. Under the agreement, Parade Sports will exclusively manage all aspects of Andrew’s coaching, endorsement, media, speaking and other business opportunities.

Sony Music Entertainment is the home of many of Australia’s leading artists including Jessica Mauboy, Delta Goodrem, Guy Sebastian, Gang of Youths, Amy Shark, Tash Sultana , Peking Duk , Human Nature, Samantha Jade, Dami Im and Anthony Callea, as well as music legends John Farnham, Midnight Oil and Daryl Braithwaite. Sony Music’s Talentworks Parade management also manages a number of these artists.

In 2015, Parade expanded into sports management through Parade Sports and signed the legendary rugby league player, captain and coach, MAL MENINGA, and immediately took on negotiating Mal’s NRL arrangement to coach the Australian ‘Kangaroos’ Rugby League team as well as commercial and media engagements including with Fox Sports . Parade sports will soon be announcing a new exciting brand initiative for Mal.

Denis Handlin AO, who also has a long connection with sports, including serving as a Mentor of the Queensland State of Origin team for over a decade, said on today’s announcement:

We are delighted at the opportunity to work with both JT and Joey.  

JT has earnt the admiration of the rugby league community and sporting world as one of the greatest players ever. Even with all the accolades he receives, Johnathan remains humble and through my association with the Queensland State of Origin team, I have seen Johnathan’s strength of character to inspire and mentor so many up-and-coming players over the years. We have a great relationship with his manager Sam Ayoub, and we look forward to working together to create excellent opportunities for Johnathan off the field to complement his brilliant continuing playing career. This includes Johnathan being an ambassador for Sony Music Australia in various events and initiatives that we develop together going forward. I have always felt a special bond with JT because my late brother taught and coached him at Acacia Ridge School in Brisbane.”

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.”

Johnathan Thurston, on signing with Sony Music and Parade Sports:

I am looking forward to partnering with Denis and his team on ambassador opportunities with Sony Music and its incredible artists & events. This includes the brilliant work of the Sony Foundation charity that I’ve always been proud to be involved with. 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.”

Andrew Johns, on signing with Parade Sports, said:

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.”

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