ASTN makes executive leadership reshuffle as it gears up for growth

Dr Martin Schlegel and James Demetriou

Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN), the body for sports tech and innovation, announced several changes to its executive leadership team with founder James Demetriou taking a back seat after over a decade of championing Australia’s sportstech industry.

James Demetriou, Founder and Chair will move into the position of Executive Director of Commercialisation and Partnerships for the next three years. Dr Martin Schlegel, who holds the position of Board Member will become Chair, and Jasmine Lim the Deputy Chair.

What legacy does Demetriou leave behind?

Over the past 40 years, Demetriou has played a major role in Aussie sport and is a respected leader in sports business, sports governance and sports technology. Demetriou was a senior player at the Essendon Football Club (1975-76), a Board Director of Essendon Football Club in the mid to late 90s and the founding Chair of Sports Without Borders (2006 to 2016).

Established in Geelong in 2012, Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN) was created to play a leadership role in the development of Australian-inspired sports technologies. Demetriou predicted the emergence of an important industry, and ASTN became one of the first co-ordinated sportstech ‘eco-systems’ or ‘super-cluster’ initiatives globally.

Fast forward ten years and ASTN is at the centre of Australia’s booming sportstech industry which has grown by over 170% to almost $3.1 billion revenue annually. Demetriou says that over a decade ago he was shocked to learn about the lack of support and recognition of Australia’s great sports technologists, sports scientists, academics and entrepreneurs.

“Those early pioneering companies Catapult, Champion Data and Fusion sports were not being recognised and I knew that had to change, especially if Australia was to continue to be a global leader in sport. Schlegel has proved he has the right skills and capabilities to drive local sportstech success, and help steer ASTN through its next phase of growth.” he said.

“Jasmine Lim is another great asset for ASTN with her experience with major events, stakeholder engagement, and her passion for advocating for women in sportstech.”

What does Schlegel bring to ASTN in the new role?

Schlegel has been with ASTN for nearly seven years and has over 25 years’ experience in the sports and recreation industry with a focus on start-up mentoring, sports management, product development, process engineering, commercialisation, open innovation as well as R&D. Schlegel has been the Program Lead for ASTN’s Australian Sports Innovation Centre of Excellence (ASICE) helping to embed new and existing programs into the centre.

“I’m honoured to take the role of Chair, helping to grow what James Demetriou started and continue his legacy. Demetriou has made a significant impact to Australia’s sportstech sector, and we are grateful for his dedication to ASTN over the past 10 years,” said Schlegel.

“Australia’s sportstech industry has experienced tremendous growth in recent years but we’re only just getting started as we expand our national footprint. ASTN will continue to work closely with governments, companies and industry groups to strengthen the reach, international standing and reputation of the Australian sportstech startup ecosystem.” 

What is Jasmine’s industry expertise?

Jasmine Lim has been a Board Member for over a year and in her new role she brings more than 20 years of experience in business strategy, govt and tourism experience with senior roles at Victoria Racing Club, Melbourne Convention Bureau and Singapore Tourism Board.

“I’m looking forward to working with Schlegel and the rest of ASTN’s executive team to provide leadership in the commercialisation, development and promotion of Australian inspired sports technologies. I am also looking to encourage more women to join the industry and take up leadership roles in a space that is growing exponentially,” said Lim.