The NRL’s oldest Club, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, have joined forces with the A-League’s newest club, Macarthur FC, in a first-of-its-kind partnership which will see the two Clubs work together to provide opportunities for Members, supporters and corporate partners of both Clubs, with a key focus on supporting the community and promoting their respective codes in south-western Sydney.
Currently in their debut season in the A-League, Macarthur FC’s home is Campbelltown Stadium, and with the Rabbitohs playing a majority of their home fixtures at ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park, the Rabbitohs and Macarthur FC have established a number of community and commercial partnerships across all areas of the clubs that will have benefits across the board.
Members of both Clubs will enjoy reciprocal access to matches at selected games throughout their respective seasons. Rabbitohs Members will be able to access Macarthur FC’s home game against Adelaide United at Campbelltown Stadium on Friday 12 February at 7:05pm. Macarthur FC Members will have access to the Rabbitohs home game against the North Queensland Cowboys at Stadium Australia on Friday 9 July. Members of both clubs will also enjoy merchandise discounts of 5% from each Club’s merchandise outlets at Macarthur Square and Heffron Park in Maroubra.
In the past week Macarthur FC have opened their experience store at one of Sydney’s largest retail shopping centres at Macarthur Square in Campbelltown, at which Rabbitohs merchandise will also be sold, helping to service the many thousands of Rabbitohs Members that live in the Macarthur region. The Macarthur FC Experience Store is a brand new concept for any sporting club of any code in Australia, providing Members and fans access to merchandise, football clinics and eSport competitions.
The Rabbitohs will also be launching a number of consumer-based services, in conjunction with Macarthur FC and their associated parties, which will be innovative and advantageous for Members and supporters of both teams. The Rabbitohs are launching Rabbitohs Mobile powered by MeSim in February 2021, a service which will provide competitively-priced mobile phone plans and services for Members and supporters. MeSim are a major corporate partner of Macarthur FC and are backed by one of the Club’s owners, Gino Marra.
Souths Cares will continue to expand the work they are currently doing in South-western Sydney in the areas of Education, Employment and Health promotion programs. Souths Cares is backed by Federal Government funding through the Department of Health, as well as extensive corporate funding, to deliver these programs to over 7,000 students and other participants in South-western Sydney currently, and by working alongside Macarthur FC’s community programs, Souths Cares will be able expand their reach and touch more people in the region with their positive lifestyle messages and programs which are delivering outstanding results right across Sydney and more broadly across New South Wales and Queensland.
Souths Cares currently has a footing in Liverpool with the establishment of the Liverpool Opportunity Hub in 2020 and will be looking to expand the programs, supported by former player Rhys Wesser and the team, further into south-western Sydney with this partnership with Macarthur FC.
The Rabbitohs and Bulls will also be looking at joint sponsorship opportunities and corporate partnerships between the clubs, giving potential partners a year-long, cross-code footprint in both the National Rugby League and A-League with two of their most vibrant clubs encompassing the Sydney CBD and inner Sydney region, as well as the always-growing south-western Sydney area.
Rabbitohs CEO, Blake Solly, is very excited about the possibilities of this partnership with Macarthur FC.
“We’ve had a presence in south-west Sydney for about ten years now and this partnership with Macarthur FC will enable our Club to work hand-in-hand with an elite sporting organisation on the ground in the region,” Mr Solly said.
“We have around 10,000 Members in western Sydney and the support for our Club in south-western Sydney is overwhelming. We expect Camden to triple in size by 2036 and Campbelltown is set to grow by more than 40 percent, so we see a great number of Rabbitohs Members and fans living in the area as part of that population growth. .
“Souths Cares are taking great strides in the community in south-western Sydney, working with more than 7,000 students and program participants each year. They are making an enormous difference in the community and with this partnership with Macarthur FC, we expect their influence to grow exponentially.
“We’ll continue to grow our work in running school holiday clinics and our schools programs, and we’ll continue to increase our staffing in the Liverpool and Macarthur areas to ensure the people of these communities are being properly serviced through this partnership.
“We also have exciting new initiatives such as Rabbitohs Mobile, reciprocal rights across the two football codes for matches, and we’re looking at more ways that we can interact such as double-header pre-season games and the like.
“There really are endless opportunities for both Clubs, and potential Members and corporate partners, to leverage this relationship and we’re all excited to see where we can take it.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Gino and his team on this partnership, we wish the Bulls the best for the season and we’re looking forward to growing our base in south-west Sydney to greater scale over the coming years.”
Macarthur FC Chairman and co-owner, Gino Marra, said: “As a newly formed sporting club proudly promoting and servicing the Macarthur region, this partnership with Souths further cements our commitment to provide further health, wellbeing and educational programs to youth in the area.
“The Macarthur region is situated in the fastest growth corridor in Australia. Through the Macarthur FC Foundation and Souths Cares, many more participants will have access to health and wellbeing programs in local schools and the community.
“The Macarthur FC Foundation throughout the inaugural calendar year, visited 10,000 local school children promoting healthy and active lifestyle educational programs.
“In 2020, the Bulls launched the Macarthur FC Indigenous Football Program. This program connects with local indigenous youth in the area, through a variety of programs using football as the catalyst. Over the upcoming twelve months further programs will come online.
“The Rabbitohs have some of the most passionate and long serving fans in the NRL, while our Bulls fans are growing quickly and becoming a great vocal advocate for the club. We look forward to having a close relationship not just the club but also the members and fans and corporate partners.
“We are looking forward to this partnership with Souths developing even more new and exciting initiatives benefiting the people of the Macarthur.”
Federal Minister for Health, The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, said: "I am delighted the Australian Government is partnering with the Rabbitohs'charity, Souths Cares, to deliver health promotion activities in south-western Sydney.
“The South Sydney Rabbitohs, who are matching our investment of more than $200,000 over three years, have a long and proud history of supporting the local community through programs that address education, employment and health issues.
“More than 2,500 primary school students participate in the Rabbitohs’ wellbeing program each year. Souths Cares also delivers healthy and active lifestyle programs to junior rugby league clubs in the Campbelltown and Camden regions.
“The Rabbitohs identified the Campbelltown and Camden regions as having large youth populations, high unemployment, a high Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, high childhood obesity rates and high levels of psychological distress.
“The delivery of health promotion activities for young people at the grassroots level of these communities will improve health and wellbeing outcomes now and into the future.”
Federal Member for Macarthur, The Hon. Dr Mike Freelander MP, said: “The Macarthur area has a long and proud sporting history and has produced national champions in a huge range of sports from Netball to Football, Rugby League, Hockey, Cricket and many others.
“I have always loved team sport and it is remarkable how quickly Macarthur FC has become an iconic feature of our community. We have a young population and are faced with particular health challenges as I know from my almost forty years working as a paediatrician locally. South Sydney Rabbitohs have also had a long involvement with the Macarthur community and through their charity, South Cares have been incredibly supportive of our young people.
“I am delighted to support my two favourite sporting teams in their partnership to deliver impressive health promotion programs for our young people in particular as I know they have already done. I see huge benefits, not just in physical health but also in mental health and community health in these initiatives and I pledge my wholehearted support.
“I am humbled to be involved and I know that every Macarthur family is behind you.”
To become a Member of the South Sydney Rabbitohs for Season 2021, please click here.
To become a Member of Macarthur FC for the 2020/21 season, please click here.
To check out the Rabbitohs online merchandise store, please click here.
To check out the Macarthur FC online merchandise store, please click here.
To learn more about Souths Cares, please click here.
To learn more about the Macarthur FC Foundation, please click here.