Prior to taking on the role of Pro-Vice Chancellor, Sport Strategy, Professor Hans Westerbeek was Dean, College of Sport and Exercise Science and the founding Director (January 2010) of the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL).
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 also holds Visiting Professor appointments at the Real Madrid Graduate School, at the European University of Madrid in Spain and at the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) in Beijing, China. He is a member of Club Melbourne and also a former founding 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:
- United Arab Emirates
- New Zealand
- most recently, India and Colombia.
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.
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.
Westerbeek, H.M. & Smith, A. (2005). Business Leadership and the Lessons from Sport. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Smith, A. & Westerbeek, H.M. (2004). The Sport Business Future. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Westerbeek, H.M. & Smith, A. (2003). Sport Business in the Global Marketplace. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Refereed journal articles
Eime, R. M., Harvey, J., Charity, M. J., Casey, M., Westerbeek, H. and Payne, W. R. (2017), The relationship of sport participation to provision of sports facilities and socioeconomic status: a geographical analysis. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 41: 248–255.
O’Sullivan, G., Hanlon, C., Spaaij, R, and Westerbeek, H. (2017). Women’s active wear trends and drivers: A systematic review. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, 21, 1, 2-15
Dalfsen, van G., Hoecke, van J. & Westerbeek, H.M. (2016). Does natural leadership exist in elite youth football? International Journal of Sport Management. 17, 4, 500-516.
Perck, J., Hoecke van J., Westerbeek, H.M. & Breesch, D. (2016). Determinants influencing the structural design type of Flemish gymnastics clubs. International Journal of Sport Management. 17, 1-26.
Jenkin, C., Eime, R., Westerbeek, H., O’Sullivan, G. & van Uffelen, J. (2016). Are they worth their weight in gold? sport for older adults – benefits and barriers of their participation for sporting organisations. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics.
Popular science/opinion pieces
Westerbeek, H.M. (2017). Why the UFC is leaving boxing for dead. Hans' Westerbeek's website, published 8 August
Westerbeek, H.M. (2017). Margaret Court and marriage equality. Hans' Westerbeek's website, published 29 May
Westerbeek, H.M. (2016). Sport cartels no different to the drug trade. VU website, published 9 May
Westerbeek, H.M. (2016). Fans deserve fair play in major sports, not cheating and corruption. The Conversation, published 10 May.
Westerbeek, H.M. (2016). Game, set and scandal: the winners and losers amid claims of match fixing in tennis. The Conversation, Published 18 January.
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 one PhD student at the Free University of Brussels.
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 & research consultancy
- 'Evaluating the Play and Stay Campaign’ on behalf of the ITF (International Tennis Federation). With Tim Buszard and Damian Farrow.
- ‘Developing Sport Business Intelligence Systems’ on behalf of Tennis Australia. Nader Chmait is our postdoctoral research fellow working full time on this project, together with Machar Reid from Tennis Australia, Rochelle Eime, Sam Robertson and Carmine Sellitto from VU.
- ‘Physical literacy – a foundation for sporting excellence in India’. on behalf of the Australia India Council, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Commonwealth Government of Australia. An extension of this project led to a partnership with Procam, owners and organisers of amongst other major events 'the Mumbai marathon' during which we surveyed 100s of participants on their physical literacy history. With Camilla Brockett and Damian Farrow.
- 'Building capacity in the State sporting systems'. This project is run in the state of Punjab, India on behalf of the State Government of Punjab (start in 2016 – 5 year contract) with Camilla Brockett, Damian Farrow and various ISEAL team members
- ‘Identifying key policy factors leading to elite parasport success’, on behalf of the Australian Paralympic Committee. (2015-2019). With Aurelie Pankowiak and Camilla Brockett.
- ‘Market trends in female active-wear buyer behaviour’. With Clare Hanlon, Jonathan Robertson and Ramon Spaaij, on behalf of the Australian Sporting Goods Association.
- ‘Developing a Global Sport Index’. This work is in partnership with Sportcal (UK) (2012-ongoing) developing a rating system for major sporting events to assess their impact on the communities that host them. With Michael Linley and Eric Schwarz.
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
- commercial development of sport
- destination marketing/branding through major sport events
- International sport business
- social value of sport
- sport business and sport marketing
- strategic management of sport and sport organisations
- Structure and design of (elite) sport systems