“Our model is every game is someone’s first game so you want to set the bar really high for the first game of the season but then you want to do this at the next game”: JULIE UHRMAN - SportNXT 2024

“Anything can be turned around if it is giving an opportunity. Create opportunity by generating interest from the fan base.”: SHAUN HARVEY - SportNXT 2024

“The Women’s World Cup and the CommBank Matildas have showed us that if we invest in women’s sport, we will get the rewards.”: JAMES JOHNSON - SportNXT 2024


“Time ultimately allows great brands to develop, it doesn’t happen over night…”: JAY MONAHAN - SportNXT 2023




SportNXT, the annual global sport business summit held 19th to 21st March 2024 in Melbourne, Australia, has today announced the next wave of esteemed international and domestic speakers who will participate in-person or virtually at the third annual summit.

The prestigious sport business gathering will bring together leaders from across the globe to share insights, ignite conversations, generate business and discuss what will shape the future of the sports industry for the 1,000+ delegates expected to attend.

Following previous speaker announcements, the event today confirmed a further 28 world-class speakers who will participate in the event.

Today’s announcement was headlined by the participation of ESPN Chairman, Jimmy Pitaro and Managing Director of The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand, Kylie Watson-Wheeler, who is also President of The Western Bulldogs AFL Club. Ms. Watson-Wheeler will deliver a keynote address exploring the rise of US sports fandom in Australia and changing behaviours of the next generation of sports fans, and following that will conduct a virtual interview with one of the most influential figures in world sport, Mr Pitaro, who will join live from the US.  

  • Jimmy Pitaro – as Chairman of ESPN, Mr. Pitaro leads one of the three core business segments of The Walt Disney Company, overseeing ESPN’s entire portfolio of sports content and sports networks, products, and experiences across all of The Walt Disney Company’s platforms worldwide.  
  • Kylie Watson-Wheeler – Senior Vice President and Managing Director of The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand and President of the AFL’s Western Bulldogs FC. Ms. Watson-Wheeler oversees The Walt Disney Company in Australia and NZ across film, TV, live events, digital, home entertainment, content distribution and streaming services, and has regional responsibility across Asia Pacific for ESPN.

Other notable speakers announced today include:

  • Krishna Bhagavathula – Chief Technology Officer and SVP of the US’s National Basketball Association (NBA), is responsible for setting the NBA’s technology strategy and ensuring alignment with the league’s objectives. He leads teams that deliver best-in-class applications, systems and infrastructure to support the league, staff, and its 30 teams.
  • Dame Valerie Adams DNZM – Chair of World Athletics Athletes’ Commission and retired New Zealand shot putter, four-time world champion, two-time Olympic Gold Medallist and three-time Commonwealth Games champion.
  • Shaun Harvey is a strategic advisor to the board and is the current director of Wrexham AFC. With 30 years in the UK Football industry and a consultant to FIFA, he has been leading the journey portrayed in the Disney/FX docuseries “Welcome to Wrexham”, the five-time Emmy Award-winning show currently recording its third season with Hollywood actors and co-owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds.
  • Kieren Perkins OAM – Kieren Perkins OAM is regarded as one of the world’s greatest distance swimmers having won four Olympic medals. Mr Perkins was President of Swimming Australia until he took on the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Sports Commission in March 2022. His focus in this new role is to ensure sport has a place for everyone and delivers results that make Australia proud.
  • Aleda Collective Group – Ex-AFL Western Bulldogs turned founder of Aleda Group, Luke Darcy, will interview NBA winning coach, Mike Dunlap, AFL premiership coach of Collingwood FC, Craig McRae, Australian Men’s Cricket Coach, Andrew McDonald, andhead coach of Western United, A-League, John Aloisi. The coaches will share their experience of the Aleda Connect program, and how they are unlocking the power of collaborative learning, and what lessons can be learnt for leaders of business.

Additional international and domestic leaders announced today: Nikhil Bardia – RISE Worldwide Ltd, Jenny Simpson – Major Events Group Alliance / Football Australia, Kylie Rogers – AFL, Professor Johan Rockström – Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (virtual), Alexandra Chalat – Qatar Foundation, Echo Li – Dentsu Sport International, Ken Martin – Cisco, Skarpi Hedinsson – LA Rams      , Rebecca McCloy – Foxtel Group, Steven Reynolds – Discover Qatar, Michael Wilkins – News Sport Network, Emma Pocock – FrontRunners, Glenn Lovett – Dentsu Sports Analytics, Christy Collier-Hill – WNBL/Basketball Australia, Jan Fitzgerald – Sports Environment Alliance, Sachin Kumar – News Sport Network, and Jacqueline Comer – Areto Labs.

Today’s announced speakers join an already impressive list of thought leaders previously confirmed, including:

  • American sports business mogul Casey Wasserman, Chair of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles (virtual)
  • Andrew Liveris AO, President Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee
  • Alan Gilpin, CEO of World Rugby
  • Brett Gosper, Head of Europe and APAC, NFL
  • Catherine Carlson, EVP of Global Partnerships at BSE Global, owners of the Brooklyn Nets, NY Liberty, and Barclays Center
  • Rebecca Sowden, Founder of Correct the Internet and Team Heroine
  • Rowena Samarasinhe, Founder and owner of GENSport
  • Domestic sport leaders include Andrew Dillon, Travis Auld, Jennifer Watt, James Sutherland, and many more.

The complete list of confirmed speakers participating at SportNXT 2024 can be found below.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos MP

“We can’t wait to welcome this great group of speakers from across the sporting world as Melbourne’s backs another valuable discussion on the business of sport.”

“Victoria boasts a packed sport and major events calendar and a world-class, innovative sport ecosystem. Giving these thought leaders and all SportNXT attendees a taste of what our state can offer will generate important connections for Victorian sport businesses and reinforce our reputation as sport leaders.”

SportNXT Chair Eddie McGuire

“SportNXT has quickly established itself as one of the pre-eminent sport summits globally, and 2024 will be our biggest event yet. We look forward to hosting, and offering delegates insights from, an unrivalled collection of sports brightest minds.

Where else can you hear from the likes of Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman of ESPN, Casey Wasserman and Andrew Liveris AO, the Chairs of LA2028 and Brisbane 2032 Olympics, respectively, and major international sporting organisations like the NFL, World Rugby,  the NBA, LaLiga, Miami Heat, and LA Rams. Combine that with most influential leaders and businesses in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, it makes SportNXT a must attend for anyone in the business of sport.”

Further speaker and agenda announcements are planned for the coming weeks.


Confirmed Speakers to date for SportNXT 2024:

  • Andrew McDonald – Coach, Australian Men’s Cricket Team
  • Alan Gilpin – CEO, World Rugby
  • Alexandra Chalat – Executive Director, Partnerships & Strategic Alignment, Qatar Foundation
  • Andrew Dillon – CEO, AFL
  • Andrew Ryan – Managing Director, FIBA Media
  • Andrew Liveris AO – President, Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee
  • Ann Duffy – Chief Sustainability Officer, MI Global Partners
  • Azmeena Hussain OAM – Director, Victorian Institute of Sport / ex-Director, Football Victoria
  • Ben Slack – CCO, World Rugby
  • Brett Gosper – Head of Europe & APAC, NFL
  • Casey Wasserman – Chairman LA28 (virtual)
  • Catherine Carlson – EVP, Global Partnerships, BSE Global / Brooklyn Nets 
  • Christy Collier-Hill – Head of WNBL, Basketball Australia
  • Craig McRae – Coach, Collingwood FC
  • Dame Valerie Adams DNZM – Chair, World Athletics Athletes’ Commission
  • Echo Li – Global CCO, Dentsu Sports International
  • Edson Crevecoeur – SVP, Strategy & Data Analytics, Miami Heat
  • Emma Pocock – CEO & Co-Founder, FrontRunners
  • Glenn Lovett – Head of Sports Analytics, Dentsu Sports Analytics
  • Jacqueline Comer – Co-Founder, Areto Labs
  • James Sutherland – CEO, Golf Australia
  • Jan Fitzgerald – CEO, Sport Environment Alliance
  • Jennifer Watt – CEO, North Melbourne FC
  • Jenny Simpson – CEO, Major Events Group Alliance; CTO, Football Australia
  • Jimmy Pitaro – Chairman, ESPN (virtual)
  • Prof. Johan Rockström – Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (virtual)
  • John Aloisi – Head Coach, Western United FC
  • Ken Martin – Director, Global Sales, Cisco (Sports & Entertainment Solutions Group)
  • Kieren Perkins OAM – CEO, Australian Sports Commission
  • Krishna Bhagavathula – CTO, NBA
  • Kylie Rogers – Chief Commercial & Customer Officer, AFL
  • Kylie Watson-Wheeler – Senior Vice President & Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company Australia & New Zealand
  • Luke Darcy – Founder, Aleda Group and Ex-AFL Western Bulldogs
  • Matt Scriven – CEO, Basketball Australia
  • Meegan Jones – Director, Institute for Sustainable Events
  • Michael Wilkins – MD, News Sport Network
  • Mike Dunlap – Fmr Championship Winning Assistant Coach, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Nicki Kenyon – Director, Australian Grand Prix Corporation
  • Nikhil Bardia – Head of Sponsorship Sales & Talent, RISE Worldwide Ltd
  • Octavi Anoro – International Development Director, LaLiga
  • Rebecca McCloy – Commercial Director – Sport, Foxtel Group
  • Rebecca Sowden – Founder, Team Heroine & Correct the Internet
  • Rowena Samarasinhe – Owner, GENSport
  • Sachin Kumar – GM, Product & Partnerships, News Sport Network
  • Sarah Styles – Director, Office for Women in Sport and Recreation
  • Sean Callanan – Founder, Sports Geek
  • Shaun Harvey – Strategic Board Advisor, Wrexham AFC
  • Skarpi Hedinsson – CTO, LA Rams
  • Steven Reynolds – SVP, Discover Qatar
  • Tal Karp – CEO, Y Australia / Former Director, Australian Grand Prix Corporation
  • Tanya Hosch – EGM Inclusion and Social Policy, AFL
  • Travis Auld – CEO, Australian Grand Prix Corporation

NB: previously announced speakers Jono Oake (TikTok), Matthew Jafarian (Miami Heat) and Finn Bradshaw (ICC) are no longer able participate at SportNXT 2024.


SportNXT is the leading sport business summit in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the world’s pre-eminent sport conferences. SportNXT 2023 attracted nearly 900 delegates from 21 countries, with over 50% comprising c-suite, board, and senior sport leaders, facilitating

valuable networking opportunities with industry decision-makers. Renowned past speakers

have included NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Formula 1® President and CEO Stefano

Domenicali, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan,

Tesla Chair Robyn Denholm, all Australian League Commissioners, and executives from the likes of News Corp Australia, J.P. Morgan, The Walt Disney Company, FIFA, Foxtel, Silver Lake, and ONE Championship.

For media enquiries, including interviews, please contact:

Anya Mitchell, Dentsu Creative PR

E: anya.mitchell@dentsu.com

P: 0435 938 983

Alexa Magnifico, Dentsu Creative PR

E: alexa.magnifico@dentsu.com

P: 0435 027 039

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