Intercollegiate sport and the environment: Examining fan engagement based on athletics department sustainability efforts Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this study was to examine how environmental education efforts at a sporting event related to environmental behavioral intentions, in the context of a promotional green game, based on value-belief-norm (VBN) theory. A total of 2,700 respondents, who attended an intercollegiate Division I football game with an environmental sustainability promotional theme, completed an online survey. Structural equation modeling was applied to examine the linkages between values, beliefs, norms, and behavioral intentions. The results found that a majority of fans recognized or participated in green game game-day activities and fans expected athletic departments to incorporate environmental sustainability actions and education in athletic events. Tests of the VBN model found respondents' values, beliefs, and norms significantly predicted pro-environmental behavioral intentions at the sport event and everyday life. This was the first study to examine environmental education related to fan behavior in a sporting context. The findings provide evidence that through environmental education, sport organizations may impact fan environmental behavior intentions, further emphasizing the importance of environmental educational actions by sport organizations.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics

author list (cited authors)

  • Casper, J. M., Pfahl, M. E., & Mccullough, B.

complete list of authors

  • Casper, JM||Pfahl, ME||Mccullough, Brian

publication date

  • January 2014