An Exploratory Analysis of the Environmental Sustainability Performance Signaling Communications among North American Sport Organizations Academic Article uri icon


  • Sport organizations across North America promote and claim deep commitments to environmental issues through sustainability performance signaling. These signals are conveyed through external associations or memberships (e.g., Green Sports Alliance) or internally (e.g., environmental reports and communications). However, researchers have not explored this communication strategy as it relates to environmental initiatives in sport nor compared environmental communications of sport organizations from the major professional sport leagues in North America. We analyzed the websites of 147 North American sport organizations and their associated venue websites for environmental performance signaling communications. We found that only one sport organization featured an environmental report on its website, and 42 sport organizations highlighted environmental initiatives through dedicated webpages on the respective team or venues website. Predominately, these communications focused on fan engagement initiatives (i.e., awareness, participation) but lacked goal setting, measurement metrics, or performance summaries. We discuss these themes, the implications, and recommendations for how sustainability performance signaling can be better leveraged in the North American sport sector.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • McCullough, B. P., Pelcher, J., & Trendafilova, S.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • McCullough, Brian P||Pelcher, Jamee||Trendafilova, Sylvia

publication date

  • March 2020