Frank van Eekeren

PhD, Senior Consultant, Utrecht University

Profiel 2 Foto Juni 2017

Frank van Eekeren (1972) is senior consultant and researcher at the Department of Governance and Organizational studies (USBO). He is also the coordinator of the research focus area Sport & Society at Utrecht University and the Vitality research program of Utrecht University, University Medical Centre Utrecht and University of Technology Eindhoven. At the same time, he's manager of Sport & Society, a nationwide knowledge and innovation network. His PhD thesis is called  'Clubs and Values', in which he introduces a new ideal type for (football)organizations.


Frank van Eekeren completed studies in communications and in social sciences and became lecturer and researcher at the former Centre for Policy and Management Studies in 1997. Before he started working for USBO in 2002, he joined a consultancy firm for several years.

Initially, Frank’s work was focused on strategy development and organizational change within government bodies and other public organizations. He conducted research and consultancy in the areas of sports, healthcare, welfare, education and development cooperation.

Over the years he has specialized in management and organization of sport in relation to the social significance of sport. His consulting and research focus is on governance, strategic policy and social impact of sport, both inside and outside the Netherlands.


Frank is specialised in the societal meaning and organization of sport. Central topics are: Public value creation in and through football organizations; CSR and sportorganizations; social impact of mega sport events; sport and development in developing countries; good governance in international sport organizations.

In the Netherlands, he focuses on the social impact of sport (organizations), such as social cohesion in communities and sports participation. His focus areas are currently the significance of corporate social responsibility in and through professional football clubs, the governance of nation sportfederations and local sport clubs, and the social return of major sporting events. Clients include KNVB, More than Football Foundation, Dutch Olympic Committee, Johan Cruyff Foundation and governments. 

Internationally, Frank is involved in sport for development since 1997. He provides, for example, academic support for the WorldCoaches program of the Dutch football association (KNVB) and he advised the Dutch Minister about his policy on sport in developing countries. He also examines the social impact of mega sports events like the 2010 and 2014 World Cup, and the governance of international sport federations, such as FIFA and IOC. 

He publishes in both scientific journals and other media.


Frank is involved in the Master Sport Management and Sports policy, in which he lectures about ‘Management of Diversity’ and ‘Sport development and policy consequences’. Currently he develops a global master’s ‘Sport for Development’ in collaboration with universities from Tokyo, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg. Also, he develops joint education programs with University of Technology Eindhoven and he’s a regular guest lecturer at (international) universities and universities of applied sciences.

Other functions

Frank is member of the societal advisory board of FC Utrecht, member of the Programme Council of the Play the Game conference, member the supervisory Board of gymnastics club Flik Flak, and trainer/ coach of a youth football team. 

His ideas on sport and society, he shares in editorials, on his 
blog and on Twitter.

Click here to watch a video about his research.

Presentations at Play the Game conferences:

Transparency: how much openess is needed for good governance - Play the Game 2013


Play the Game

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