Johnathan Thurston signs with Sony
HE'S spent a career setting records on the rugby league field but Johnathan Thurston wants to make it clear he's not about to start making records.
"No, I'm not about to release JT's Greatest Hits,'' the Cowboys star said with his trademark laugh.
Thurston is about to enter the same stable as the Foo Fighters, Midnight Oil, Bruce Springsteen and Pink after securing a lucrative management contract with music industry leaders, Sony Music Entertainment Australia.
But for now he's got no plans to make music. Rather, he wants to prove to the rest of the sporting world just how dominant he and other league stars can be in the corporate world.
Sony have aligned with Thurston and his long-time agent Sam Ayoub, to extend his reach and appeal, through ambassadorial and charity work under the Sony Australia banner.
"It was actually Mal Meninga who invited Denis Handlin (CEO and chairman of Sony Music Australia) into the Maroons camp when he first began coaching Origin, to be a mentor for us players,'' Thurston said.
"I was also taught by Denis' brother in high school so there's always been a connection, but to now be associated with Sony is massive.''
Thurston's alignment with Sony only reaffirms his lofty appeal - in and outside the NRL.
The injured Test halfback said he hoped that by aligning himself with one of the world's leading brands and companies, it would show other NRL players the benefits of protecting their image off the field.
"Never in my wildest of dreams did I think I'd be in a position that I'm in today,'' he said. "But I've worked extremely hard to get where I am today - not only on the footy field, but certainly off it. It's where I've made the biggest improvement.
"He has forged a very strong media career following his brilliant playing days."
"Players can certainly offer companies and brands a different aspect to what they're trying to achieve.''
Fellow NRL legend Andrew Johns, who spent his playing career managed by the Fordham Company, has also signed a separate deal with Sony's Parade Sports, the sports management arm of the business, of which Meninga also resides.
Parade Sports will manage every aspect of the league immortal's coaching consultancy business, endorsement, media, speaking and other business opportunities.
"Joey and I go back many years. He has forged a very strong media career following his brilliant playing days," Mr Handlin said.
"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."
Originally published as JT: From record-breaker to record-maker