Are intercollegiate sport fans who care more the environment more receptive to sponsored sport sustainability initiatives? This study examined values and norms related to the natural environment and perceptions of fan engagement sustainability initiatives that influence sustainable at-home behaviours.
An online, panel-based survey of 267 college basketball fans evaluated awareness and influence of environmental sustainability fan engagement campaign over a season. Norms related to sport events had a significant relationship with positive perceptions of the three in-game sustainability initiatives, while also influencing at-home environmental behavioural intentions related to composting. Fans’ environmental predispositions (e.g., more/less pro-environmental) were not related to receptivity, awareness, and influence.
The study gives empirical support to industry claims about the ability to leverage the social platform of sport to engage new populations with environmental messages to promote sustainable behavioural change. Moreover, these sustainability initiatives allow sport organizations to create new sponsorship inventory, potentially creating new categories of sponsorship and inviting new companies into sport sponsorship.
CITE: Casper, J. M., McCullough, B. P., & Pfahl, M.E. (2019). Examining environmental fan engagement initiatives through values and norms with intercollegiate sport fans. Sport Management Review.