Crown Resorts Launches Three-Season Sponsorship Of South Sydney Rabbitohs
Australian National Rugby League team South Sydney Rabbitohs "will part ways with major home sponsor The Star at the end of the season" to link with billionaire James Packer and his Crown organization, according to Michael Chammas of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The sponsorship change comes as Crown and Echo Entertainment -- the parent company of The Star -- "grapple for control of Sydney's lucrative casino market." Crown CEO Packer, a close friend of Rabbitohs Owner Russell Crowe, "jumped on the opportunity to substitute the rival casino's logo with that of his own." The Crown Resorts emblem "will be on the front of Souths jerseys for the next three seasons" in a deal believed to be worth A$1M ($990,200) a year. The club said the plans for a world-class resort at the Barangaroo site in Sydney, at which Packer is lobbying to build a A$1B hotel and casino, "will provide opportunities for the Rabbitohs to be involved in Crown's Indigenous employment and training programs through its charity and community arm of the Club, Souths Cares" (SMH, 5/14).