Billionaire Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes has bought into Russell Crowe's footy team just days after going on a $70million rural Australian property spending spree.
Cannon-Brookes has joined the Hollywood movie star and fellow billionaire James Packer as co-owners of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, with the three splitting a 25 per cent ownership. The members own the remaining portion.
'It feels awesome. I feel super-excited, super-pumped,' the Atlassian founder said.
'And a sense of responsibility – it's a bit daunting. The responsibility to keep growing the legacy.
'It's such a famous legacy club, it's such an amazing story, it's about continuing to write the next couple of chapters – or help write the next couple of chapters.'
Billionaire Atlassian boss Mike Cannon-Brookes, pictured here with wife Annie, has bought out a Melbourne Cup-winning racehorse stud as part of his personal mission to save the planet
Crowe told the Daily Telegraph it was a 'very strong move' for the Rabbitohs and has pushed them into the upper echelon of sporting teams in the country
Cannon-Brookes, who last year became the first Australian to own an American sports team after buying a minority stake in NBA side the Utah Jazz, said there was renewed pressure at leading South Sydney.
'It's one thing to have a really great legacy culture – 'the oldest, proudest, loudest' is written pretty deeply in people's psyches – but it also comes with a sense of that culture of continuing to improve,' he said.
Souths were booted out of the competition in 1999 after a series of financial problems, before a campaign led by Crowe began to see the game's oldest and most successful club re-admitted.
They were re-instated in the NRL in 2002 and 12 years later won the premiership, with Crowe emotional on the field with the players following the game.
Crowe revealed he'd been working to get Cannon-Brookes involved for some time and regularly had him appearing in public wearing Rabbitohs merchandise.
'I'm sure it hasn't gone unnoticed to South Sydney members and supporters that Mike wears a white Rabbitohs hat for special occasions,' Crowe told the Telegraph.
'This is a very strong move for the club. 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.'
They were re-instated in the NRL in 2002 and 12 years later won the premiership, with Crowe emotional on the field with the players following the game
The tech boss's latest buy is the $15.25million, 120 hectare Think Big Stud (pictured above and bleow) which was home to the 2008 Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup winner Viewed
Last week Cannon-Brookes bought out a Melbourne Cup-winning racehorse stud as part of his ambitious personal mission to make Australia greener.
The purchase of the $15.25million, 120-hectare Think Big Stud is the latest acquisition in a massive $70million buy-up of property and land in the Southern Highlands, 120km south of Sydney.
He's planning to transform the properties he buys into a green paradise using 'regenerative agriculture' - with part of his plan to encourage Australians to eat crickets and other insects.
The 41-year-old, who is worth $20billion, has already pledged $1.5billion to climate initiatives.
'[I] have heavy investments in controlled environment agriculture because it turns electricity into farming,' he tweeted.
'99 per cent less emissions from transport, 95 per cent less water and 95 per cent less land use.
'Renewables make it continually better.'
He has also warned the world needs to