Eight steps to engage your fans in sustainability programmes

Green Sports Alliance publishes Fan Engagement Playbook to give sports organisations practical tips for getting spectators involved in various sustainability initiatives

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The Playbook emphasised the importance of encouraging fans to practice sustainable behaviour (Credit: Jamie Smed)

An eight-step guide to help sports organisations build fan engagement into environmental sustainability programmes has been unveiled by the Green Sports Alliance.

Published in association with the University of Colorado Boulder, the Fan Engagement Playbook has been billed as a “practical tool” for professionals trying to engineer behaviour-changing fan engagement programmes around environmental sustainability.

“Collegiate and professional sports organisations must develop initiatives that meaningfully engage and encourage fans to practice sustainable behaviour at home, work, and play to advance into this next phase of sports sustainability,” states the guide, breaking down the advice into the following eight sections:

1. Assess the baseline capacity of your organisation: Making sure your organisation is credible (e.g. is currently demonstrating the behaviour it is trying to instill in other, such as recycling), and making sustainability a core value of the company.

2. Identify a desired behaviour change: Choose a behaviour that your organisation actively practices (e.g. composting – at home, in the stadium, composting food scraps, using compostable single-use plastics).

3. Know your audience: Whose behaviour are you trying to change? Segment fanbase into groups with common characteristics to maximise campaign investment.

4. Understand barriers and benefits: Evaluate barriers that might deter fans from getting involved with sustainability initiatives and identify benefits that will motivate them into action.

5. Build a behaviour change campaign: Actions include – building awareness, inspiring action, campaign strategies, getting a commitment (fan), norm the behaviour, prompt action and incentivise.

 

6. Message development and delivery: Work with marketing teams and sales teams, and design a campaign using Community Based Social Marketing Steps.

7. Capturing results – measuring + reporting: Planning for measurement and reporting “must coincide” with other phases of the campaign planning, including steps above.

8. The final buzzer: Sports organisations are encouraged to report back to the Green Sports Alliance with their results to “continue to advance the next stage of sport sustainability”.

Co-author of the Fan Engagement Playbook and fan engagement manager at University of Colorado Boulder, Monica Rowland, said the process of putting the document together was two years in the making.

She added: “Fan engagement for sustainability will be an ever-evolving space, but the launch of this Playbook and the subsequent implementation of more behaviour change campaigns, are important steps toward setting a new expectation in sports fandom: being a fan means being a green fan; and not just in the stadium, but at home, work and play.”

To read the Playbook’s full guidance, click here.

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