Select Music gets Sonny Bill Williams jersey boost
When Sonny Bill Williams returns to the field for the Sydney Roosters this weekend, the back of his shirt will be emblazoned with ‘Select Music Agency’.
The Stephen Wade-run business has been donated the positioning by major Roosters sponsor Unibet, with the returning Williams not wanting to wear sponsors that conflict with his Islamic beliefs including gambling.
Wade has been a fan of the Sydney NRL club since he was seven, when his Uncle Nick took him out on a speedboat he bought after betting on the Roosters to win the 1975 premiership.
The booker and agent found out on Monday that Select Music had indeed been selected for the placement, and will also receive a $10,000 donation.
“Our industry is the first to help anybody,” Wade told SMH. “If you think of the bushfires about 60 or 70 artists played shows for free. It’s just been the most gruesome time I could imagine for our industry, but thank God the footy was allowed to come back.
Select Music had to let go three of their 15 staff members when the pandemic hit, with Wade forced to cancel 600 shows.
He has previously been a small-time sponsor of his beloved Roosters, and so thought it was a good idea to enter a competition to win the jersey placement and money.
“I was very teary [when I found out we had won the competition],” Wade said.
“Every day there is cancellations and the overarching thing is the amount of struggle and grief people are going through, they’re going to look to music when they come out of this. They’ll want things that will make them feel good.
“At the moment we’re struggling to try to keep businesses alive to try to get to that point.
“I just rang my wife and said COVID has wiped out my whole industry, but yet without COVID Sonny wouldn’t have been able to come back and now my company’s name will go on the back of a Roosters jersey.
“My hatred of COVID has just had to soften a little bit.”
Sonny Bill Williams will run out with the jersey for the Roosters against the Canberra Raiders this Saturday night (September 5).