Professor Hans Westerbeek

Professor Hans Westerbeek

BPhysEd, MSc Human Movement, Groningen; MBA, Deakin; PhD International Marketing, Deakin

Dean, College of Sport and Exercise Science

Prior to taking on the role of Dean, College of Sport and Exercise Science in 2013, Professor Hans Westerbeek was the founding Director (January 2010) of the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL).

Professor Westerbeek started his academic career at Deakin University in 1994 in the sport management program. He was also a Senior Research Associate in the Centre for Business Research at Deakin before moving to La Trobe University in 2003. During his time there he held several positions, including Chair of Sport Management and Head of School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management.

He is a past President (and founding Board member) of the Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand and of the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in Australia. He continues to serve as a Chair of Sport Management at the Free University of Brussels (Belgium). He is a member of Club Melbourne and also a Board member of Australian Football League (AFL) Europe, the AFL-endorsed governing body in Europe.

Before migrating to Australia in 1994, he worked as a marketing professional in the Netherlands. He co-founded the European Association for Sport Management and was a founding member of the European Union's European Network of Sport Science Institutes.

Professor Westerbeek is an active researcher, corporate facilitator, author and consultant to numerous organisations and governments in a variety of countries including Australia, the USA, Malaysia, China, the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, the Netherlands, Brazil, India, Switzerland, New Zealand and Japan. 

He has worked for more than 50 different organisations including:

  • Western Mining Company
  • Coles Myer
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Al Jazira Sport and Cultural Club
  • the Australian Football League
  • the Australian Paralympic Committee
  • Tennis Australia
  • Cricket Australia
  • Netball Victoria
  • PGA of Australia
  • VicHealth
  • Australian Sports Commission
  • Australian Institute of Sport
  • Royal Dutch Football Association
  • Innosport Netherlands
  • Dutch Olympic Committee
  • Saujana Golf and Country Club (Malaysia)
  • FIFA (football)
  • FIVB (volleyball)


Professor Westerbeek has received numerous awards recognising his work including: 

  • an Honorary Life Membership of the Alumni Sport Management Society of the Hanze University of Applied Science in the Netherlands, for contributions to the field of sport management;
  • an Exceptional Contributions Award from the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in Australia upon retiring from the Board of Management after 6 years of service;
  • the Henry Fong Award for contributions to Global Citizenship, awarded by the International Network of Universities (including a full Scholarship as a visiting Professor to James Madison University in the USA and Malmo University in Sweden);
  • a Recognition of Exemplary Service for serving as Vice President (2002) and President (2003-2005) of the Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand.

Recent publications

Professor Westerbeek has (co)authored more than 200 scientific, popular science and opinion articles, 23 books and 16 book chapters. His books have been translated in Dutch, Greek, Chinese, Russian and Arabic. A selection of this work is presented below. 


De Bosscher, V., Shibli, S., Westerbeek, H.M., & Bottenburg van, M. (2015). Successful elite sport policies. An international comparison of the Sports Policy factors Leading to International Sporting Success (SPLISS 2.0) in 15 nations. Germany, Meyer and Meyer.

Shilbury, D., Westerbeek, H.M., Funk, D., Quick, S. & Karg, A. (2014). Strategic Sport Marketing. 4th edition. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.

Verhoogt, P., Westerbeek, H.M., Boer de, W. & Schoemaker, J. (2013). Sport and innovation: a success story? an international survey about innovation in sport. Nieuwegein: the Netherlands, ARKO Sports Media.

Theeboom, M., Westerbeek, H.M. & De Knop, P. (2012) (Eds.). EU-involvement in sport. Between inspiration and regulation. Brussels: Academic Scientific Publishers.

Hoye, R., Smith, A., Nicholson, M., Stewart, B. & Westerbeek, H.M. (2012). Sport Management: Principles and Applications. 3nd edition. London/New York: Routledge.

Refereed journal articles

Eime, R.M., Sawyer, N., Harvey, J.T., Casey, M.M., Westerbeek, H.M, Payne, W.R. (2014). Integrating Public Health and Sport Management: Sport participation trends 2001-2010.  Sport Management Review.

Truyens, J., Bosscher de, V., Heyndels, B. & Westerbeek, H.M. (2013). A resource-based perspective on countries’ competitive advantage in elite athletics. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics.

Westerbeek, H.M. & Linley, M. (2012) Building city brands through sport events: theoretical and empirical perspectives. Journal of Brand Strategy. 1 (2), 1-13.

Spaaij, R. and Westerbeek, H.M. (2010) Sport business and social capital: a contradiction in terms? Sport in Society. 13 (09), 1359-1376.

Smith, A. & Westerbeek, H.M. (2007) Sport as a Vehicle for Deploying Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal of Corporate Citizenship. 7(25), 43-54.

Popular science/opinion pieces

Westerbeek, H.M. (2014). What sport will look like in 2032, The Age online. Published 20 August (Australia). 

Westerbeek, H.M. (2014). Melbourne sports capital of the world, not quite, The Age online and in print. Published 12 August (Australia). 

Westerbeek, H.M. (2014). FIFA is back to its core business but Platini should replace Blatter. The Conversation. Published on 6 June (Australia).

Westerbeek, H.M. (2014). Qatar saga shows why fifa should return football to the fans. The Conversation. Published on 6 June (Australia).

Westerbeek, H.M. (2014). Making young Australians good sports through fair play, The Age online. Published 27 May (Australia).  

Conference presentations

Professor Westerbeek has delivered more than 200 presentations at conferences, invited keynote lectures, and expert meetings on all continents except Antarctica (suffice to say that he is looking forward to his first conference presentation over there!).

Postgraduate research students

Professor Westerbeek currently supervises five PhD students at Victoria University and three PhD students at the Free University of Brussels.

Research grants

Professor Westerbeek has been a leader of, or contributor to, more than 60 academic and research consultancy projects with a total funding allocation of more than $AUD 6 million.

Research consultancy

  • Research into the opinion of football fans about the newly introduced play-off structure in the Dutch Premier Football League', on behalf of Eredivisie CV: company owned by Dutch Royal Football Association. (Netherlands)
  • 'Sponsorship Value Audit' for NSW Rowing (Sydney, Australia)
  • 'Tennis Victoria Organisation Audit' for Tennis Victoria (Melbourne, Australia).

Applied research

  • Literature review female active-wear buyer behaviour. Report for the Australian Sporting Goods Association. ISEAL team.
  • Victorian Sport Integrity Capability Analysis, Report prepared for Sport and Recreation Victoria. ISEAL team.
  • Active and Healthy Ageing through Sport. Report prepared for the Australian Sports Commission, ISEAL team.
  • Sporting excellence through partnership and development – phase 1. For the Kerala government, Trivandrum, India, ISEAL team.
  • Determination of objective and subjective performance characteristics of an AFL football. For the Australian Football League, ISEAL team. 

Fundamental research

  • Early childhood preference formation of sport and sport team.
  • Sponsorship as co-branding: identification with transnational sporting brands and the impact on sponsor product preference
  • Examining Social Responsibility in Sport Organisations: Towards a Policy Framework.

Appearances in the media

Professor Westerbeek is a regular contributor to critical debate in the global media having delivered more than 140 interviews to print and broadcast media in countries such as Australia, India, Russia, the Netherlands, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Denmark, Portugal, Belgium, the UK, and the USA. He also is a regular online contributor.

Areas of expertise

  • Business of football (soccer)
  • Commercial development of sport
  • Destination marketing/branding through major sport events
  • Social value of sport
  • Sport business and sport marketing
  • Strategic management of sport and sport organisations
  • Structure and design of (elite) sport systems

Contact details

+61 3 9919 9473

Twitter: @westerbeekHANS


Executive Assistant 

Ms Dominique Lanuto

Phone: +61 3 9919 4432