2022 journal article

Fan Responses of Sponsored Environmental Sustainability Initiatives


By: B. McCullough*, J. Casper n & D. Smith*

author keywords: environmental sustainability; sport consumer behavior; corporate partners; sponsorship; sustainable behavioral intentions; college sport fans
Source: Web Of Science
Added: November 28, 2022

The sport sector is advancing its efforts to be environmentally friendly. These efforts now include corporate sponsored environmental initiatives, yet fans’ responsiveness to such efforts remains unexamined. Specifically, in this study, the corporate-sponsored environmental initiatives of a college athletic department with an established history of environmental commitments were examined to evaluate the influence of a point of attachment, sport brand-sustainability fit, and receptivity to messaging on the sport organization’s desired outcomes of the campaign (i.e., sustainability behavioral, support for environmental initiative corporate partner). Data were collected from college football fans of an institution in the United States Midwest region using an internet-based survey after the 2019 football season (N = 548). We found that most of our hypotheses were supported. Specifically, attachment to athletics, athletics/sustainability fit, and ascription of responsibility to athletics explained 52.7% of the variance of receptivity to messaging from athletics. In turn, receptivity to sustainable messaging and behaviors explained 45.0% of the support for corporate partners. Our results show that sport practitioners should evaluate the ascription of responsibility their fans place on the sport organization to be environmentally responsible, increasing the receptivity of environmental messages and desired outcomes from such efforts. In addition, this study shows the versatility and applicability of the model to actual sponsored environmental sustainability campaigns of a sport organization.