Marketing and Environmental Sustainability in the Sport Sector: Developing a Research Agenda for Action

Chris Chard, Cheryl Mallen, Cheri Bradish


Authoritative discourse within the literature indicates a realization that sport impacts the natural environment (Brooks, 2006; Cachay, 1993; Lenskyj, 1998) and that environmental sustainability (ES) in sport management is emerging as a topic of concern. The number of sport-related journal articles focusing on environmental sustainability (ES), however has been found to be insufficient (Mallen, Stevens and Adams, 2011). The purpose of this study, thus, was to complete a content analysis of management journals to reveal marketing-ES literature to underscore the development of a sport marketing-ES research agenda. The premise was that the understandings concerning the outlook, perceptions, opinions and viewpoints in the marketing-ES manuscripts will enhance the capacity of researchers in developing a research agenda in sport marketing-ES. The methods involved content analysis steps provided by Krippendorff (1980), Weber (1985), and Wolfe, Hoeber and Babiak (2002) including: establishing the sampling units, the unit of text, the coding themes and sub-themes, analytical factors and coding mode. The data analysis framework involved the use of key marketing concepts: the consumer perspective (Aaker, 1996) and the corporate perspective (Knapp, 2000), along with the concept of influencers (Davis & Dunn, 2002). In sum, the examination involved 49 journals published from 1999 to 2009. Key findings included 63 marketing-ES manuscripts and their concepts, themes and sub-themes, along with their perspectives and influencers that were applied to construct 30 questions to develop a sport marketing-ES research agenda. It is time for sport researchers to generate a robust research response to the marketing-ES questions.

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Journal of Management and Sustainability   ISSN 1925-4725 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4733 (Online)   E-mail:


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