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Sports Hub: Jasper Donat bids to unite industry leaders at Sports Matters

JD NMC Corporate CROPSportAsia talks to JASPER DONAT of Branded Asia, co-organiser of the inaugural Sports Matters conference on September 18-19, when major sports bodies, sponsors and other industry players convene at The St Regis Singapore to discuss the continent’s growing role in the sports world.


By SportAsia


The inaugural Sports Matters will be held at The St Regis Singapore from September 18-19, ahead of the weekend’s Singtel Singapore Grand Prix. The conference is co-produced by Branded, owners of Digital & Music Matters and Social Media Matters, and Haymarket Media, publisher of Campaign, F1 Racing and FourFourTwo magazines and producer of the Spikes Asia creative festival.


Jasper Donat, co-founder and CEO of Branded, talks about what people can expect at the inaugural edition of Sports Matters, which is presented by Samsung and Fox Sports and supported by the Singapore Sports Council and the Singapore Tourism Board.


Interview with JASPER DONAT


What’s the mission of Sports Matters and what can delegates expect?

Sports Matters’ mission is to build the foundations for a healthy and sustainable Asian sports industry. The event targets the entire sports industry value chain including associations, rights holders, sponsors, broadcasters and agencies.


The event is produced as a joint venture by Branded and Haymarket Media, and will be held in Singapore on September 18-19 ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix (September 20-22).


The conference will be held over two days, with a programme focused on major issues relating to the Asian sports industry. Day one will be a plenary day of keynote interviews, panel debates and success-story showcases followed by a second day of themed sessions designed to drill down into the hottest industry topics including sponsorship, technology and broadcast.


Sports Matters is fully endorsed by the Singapore government and costs US$850 for two days including lunches and networking sessions.


Branded made its name with Music Matters, so how did Sports Matters originate?

When we launched Music Matters, it was to help connect an industry and share positive success stories with the outside world in a new, exciting digital landscape. With the advent of online, mobile viewing and social media, sport has become a hot topic, presenting us with a very exciting opportunity to replicate the success we’ve enjoyed with Music Matters.


Importantly, I came from a sports background, spending a decade through the 1990s working for Eurosport, Star Sports, Sports Corporation and ESPN Star Sports. A lot of the people I worked with have gone on to record great sports business achievements, which gave us an immediate network of advisors from day one.


What do you hope the conference will achieve, this year and in years to come?

Baby steps for now, but we’ll be very happy if we can fill the room with leading players from the world of sport and provide them with compelling, insightful content and an opportunity to debate and shape the future of an industry about to go through explosive change and growth.


Above all, I hope that the launch of the Asian Sponsorship Association will provide us with a lasting legacy.


Sports Matters will be held just before the Singapore Grand Prix. Can you talk about the buzz in the city that week?

I’ve been to three of the night races in Singapore and it’s up there as one of the world’s truly great spectacles. It’s a perfect marriage of sport and entertainment delivered with precision management. I’m delighted we managed to find a slot before the craziness kicks off so our team can enjoy the show!


What are some of the other aspects that makes Sports Matters attractive to the sports industry?

It’s going to be a busy, jam-packed two days. We have filled the schedule with no less than eight keynote interviews, plus drill-down sessions on tech, broadcast, sponsorship and more.


For the latter, we’re really excited we’ll be launching the Asian Sponsorship Association with full endorsement from its European elder cousins. This means that lots of brands and their agencies will be in attendance, which is rare for a conference of this kind.


Can you talk about the speakers and the different aspects of the industry they represent?

While it’s impossible to be all things to all people, we have lined up eight keynote interviews for this first Sports Matters event. These are some of the most influential names in the global business of sport, all of whom have a very real interest in seeing Asia succeed as a market.


These big names are supported by a further 50-plus speakers, all of whom are already making sport matter in Asia and who come from an integral component on the wider sports industry, from sponsors to broadcasters, digital media specialists to professional services. Our speaker faculty is actually larger than this and we have tailored this group to fit this year’s programme.


There have been other sports conferences in Asia. Why is Sports Matters different and why do you believe it will gain momentum in the coming years?

With the assistance of a 16-person strong Advisory Board from all over the sports industry, our claim that the event has been produced ‘by, with and for’ the sports industry is easily justified. I also believe that we’re the largest to date, but am willing to be corrected.


What have speakers and delegates told you about Asia and its place in the sports industry that surprised you?

Only confirmation that the Asian sports industry is at the start of an extremely exciting chapter that will make more people want to take notice. It’s no longer a distant cousin but a genuine, thriving place to live, work and do business.

Sport Matters logo_fiNAL

Sports Matters 2013

Venue: The St Regis Singapore

Date: September 18-19, 2013




Sports Matters speakers include:

  • Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO, WTA (Women’s Tennis Association)
  • Andrew Georgiou, CEO, World Sport Group
  • Prinz Mathew Pinakatt, Global Director Alliances & Ventures, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Giles Morgan, Group Head of Sponsorship and Events, HSBC
  • Chris Renner, CEO, Helios Partners
  • Andres Gonzalez, Vice President, AP & MEA Sponsorships, MasterCard Worldwide
  • Mike Rich, CEO, GroupM ESP
  • Vipul Chawla, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Asia, Yum! Brands
  • Jim Small, Vice President Asia, Major League Baseball
  • Greg Unsworth, TMT, PwC Singapore
  • Amit Dasgupta, Director, Brand, adidas South East Asia
  • Don Anderson, SVP APAC Head of Digital, FleishmanHillard
  • Jamie Reigle, MD APAC, Manchester United
  • Craig Dobbs, Executive Vice President, Programming & Production, FOX Sports, FOX International Channels
  • Kelly Cooke, Director, Business Development & Digital Media, ESPN Asia Pacific
  • William Pfeiffer, CEO, Dragongate Entertainment and more …


Sports Matters Advisory Board (in alphabetical order):

  • Adrian New, MD Asia, Chelsea Football Club
  • Annabel Pennefather, Senior Consultant, Corporate & Securities Department and Head of Sports Law Practice, Khattar Wong
  • Brad Warrington, Senior Vice President, Pico International
  • Daniel Metcalfe, Commercial Director – Asia Pacific, Tennis Australia
  • Géraldine Pamphile, VP, International Media Distribution and Global Merchandising Group, NBA Asia
  • Helen Soulsby, Director Asia, Sports Recruitment International
  • Mark Fischer, MD, UFC Asia
  • Maurizio Barbieri, Head of Sports, Media Solution Center, South East Asia & Oceania, Samsung Asia
  • Michael Corcoran, Consultant
  • Michael Morrison, VP and GM Asia-Pacific, ESPN
  • Michael Roche, Executive Director, Singapore GP
  • Mike Kerr, CEO, Asian Tour
  • Mike Rich, CEO, GroupM ESP
  • Patrick Murphy, CEO, Catalyst Media Group Ltd
  • Peter Hutton, COO, MP & Silva
  • Poh Yu Khing, COO, Singapore Sports Hub
  • Richard Young, MD, NFL China


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