South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club (the Rabbitohs) has announced that it has been informed by Blackcourt League Investments Pty Limited (Blackcourt) that Mike Cannon-Brookes has completed the purchase of a one-third share of Blackcourt, giving interests associated with Russell Crowe and James Packer, a one-third share each in the company.
Blackcourt owns 75% of the Rabbitohs, as has been the case since the re-structuring of the Rabbitohs in June 2006. The South Sydney Members Rugby League Football Club Ltd (Member Co.) owns the remaining 25% of shares in the Rabbitohs, as well as a preferential share that controls the Club’s core elements including the team’s name, logo, colours, jersey and choice of home ground. This transaction has no impact on the 25% share owned by the Club’s Members or on the preferential share.
Mike Cannon-Brookes is the Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Atlassian, one of the world’s largest collaboration computer software companies, based in Sydney, Australia. Mr Cannon-Brookes is also one of Australia’s greatest climate champions, he and his wife Annie recently pledging $1.5 billion in investment and philanthropy to slow the earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees by 2030.
Mr Cannon-Brookes is also a minority owner in the Utah Jazz, one of the leading teams and sporting organisations in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is the first Australian minority owner of an NBA team.
Mr Cannon-Brookes said: “I’m excited and humbled to be a part of this iconic Club. The South Sydney Rabbitohs are special. Not only are we the oldest, loudest and proudest – we are an organisation people truly, deeply care about.
I’m looking forward to partnering with Russell and James and bringing what I can to the table to help the Club grow to even greater heights.Mike Cannon-Brookes
Rabbitohs and Member Co. Chairman, Nicholas Pappas AM, said: “We welcome Mike Cannon-Brookes to the Rabbitohs with his investment in Blackcourt.
“Mike is world-renowned for his business acumen and his philanthropy, both of which will provide great opportunity for the Rabbitohs.
“This is the big end of town we spoke about when our original investors first made their contributions in this form in 2006. Couple this with the passion and unwavering support of our 30,000-plus Members, it’s there for all to see that we are in great hands for the long term.”
Mr Crowe added: “I’m sure it hasn’t gone unnoticed to South Sydney Members and supporters that Mike wears a white Rabbitohs hat for special occasions.
This is a very strong move for the Club.Russell Crowe
“It connects us to the front edge of emerging technologies and business and underlines the importance of our efforts in the community.
“Mike understands the resonance of sport in Australia, and James and I welcome his input going forward in keeping South Sydney ahead of the curve, and a game leading organisation, on and off the field.
Mr Packer said: “Souths have had an outstanding year as a football club, with an even brighter future ahead.
“I am really pleased that Mike is joining us, because I know how committed he is to the community. He will be a big asset and supporter of South Cares and all the important work they do.
“I look forward to working with Mike, Russell, the Board and Blake's (CEO Blake Solly) team to write the next chapter of Rabbitoh success.”
About Mike Cannon-Brookes:
Mike Cannon-Brookes is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Atlassian, a collaboration software company that helps teams organise, discuss and complete shared work. More than 215,000 large and small organizations across the world, including companies like Spotify, NASA, Mercy Ships, Sotheby's and Visa use Atlassian’s collaboration products to help their teams work better together.
Mike was the youngest person ever to be awarded the ‘Australian Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2006 by Ernst & Young alongside Co-Founder and Co-CEO Scott Farquhar. In 2016 they were awarded Australian Financial Review's 'Australian Business Person of the Year' and in 2017 Forbes named them on their ‘Global Game Changers’ list. Mike was recognised by the World Economic Forum as a ‘Young Global Leader’ in 2009.
Outside Atlassian, Mike is a technology investor in the areas of software, fintech, agriculture and energy. He also cares deeply about giving back and is a board member of Room to Read. A passionate clean energy evangelist, Mike was a driving force behind Australia securing the world’s biggest lithium ion battery.
He serves as an adjunct professor at the University of New South Wales' School of Computer Science and Engineering and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Technology from the University of New South Wales, Australia.