The focus of this research is to examine the progression and development of sustainable actions of major league professional sports. The research, then examine data collection results of what each major league sports team has posted on individual team websites regarding green initiatives.
To determine what information professional sports teams have posted on the respective teams’ website, a trained data collector reviewed a total of 141 team websites for each major league professional sports team during June and July of 2013. There were 30 Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, and National Hockey League websites, while there were 32 National Football League and 19 Major League Soccer websites. The data collector used search terms on each site related to green activities including: environment, go green, recycle and sustainability. Additionally the site was reviewed for a page or area of pages dedicated to green activities, and web pages containing news items, which might contain relevant information.
It can be inferred from this study that there are financial and strategic advantages for going green: monetary savings, local economic growth, improved brand image, competitive advantage, attraction of new clientele and corporate partners (Henly et al., 2012). More importantly, green activities can enhance the fan experience and strengthen community ties. All of these advantages can be leveraged by marketing the team’s green actions and activities, and promoting the team’s commitment to environmental responsibility. The positive impact of sustainable efforts cited by team executives include attracting positive press and generating publicity, engagement with the city and community, selling to more customers, building deeper customer relationships and brand development, along with enhancing the overall fan experience, all things which marketing efforts currently strive to accomplish. In conclusion, not only developing sustainable initiatives, but promoting them online and at the stadium via events, and fan-inclusive actions, position the team as a socially responsible corporate partner in the community and engage fans and build enthusiasm.