Based on the political partisanship often tied to climate science and sustainability, Kellison and Cianfrone examined how fan attitudes toward an professional American football team differed based on fans' self-described levels of environmentalism. The researchers analyzed qualitative empirical material from 167 season ticket holders and categorized the data into three groups: environmentalist, non-environmentalist, and shared. The results of the study indicate environmentalist and non-environmentalist fans diverge in some expected ways, but there also is a solid foundation on which a professional sport organization could engage in and promote climate action to its entire fanbase rather than merely its ecological-conscious segment. The authors conclude by arguing teams may cultivate a superordinate social identity to overcome political differences among fans, thereby enhancing fans’ knowledge of the team’s environmental program and growing support for climate action.
CITE: Kellison, T., & Cianfrone, B. A. (2020). Superordinate social identity in a professional sport organization's environmental program. International Journal of Sport Management, 21, 54–81.