Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Committee Chair/Advisor

Skye G. Arthur-Banning

Committee Member

William Norman

Committee Member

Ryan J. Gagnon

Committee Member

Michael Giebelhausen


Within corporate social responsibility (CSR) research, there has been significant evidence of the positive impacts that CSR could bring to businesses. However, few studies, especially in the context of sport, have focused on how CSR benefits an actual social cause. Therefore, through a three-article format, the overall purpose of the dissertation is to examine how a professional sport team could use its CSR as a social marketing strategy to increase its fans’ willingness to participate in the team’s CSR program in contributing to a specific social cause. Specifically, Article 1 assesses whether CSR participation intention significantly differs among fans with varying psychological connection levels to a sport team. Article 2 examines how fans’ trust in a sport team increases their CSR participation intention, especially among fans with a low psychological connection to a sport team. Lastly, Article 3 investigates how fans’ perceived CSR authenticity plays a significant role in the overall study findings. The study findings: (a) demonstrate that fans are more likely to participate in a sport team’s CSR program when they are aware of the philanthropic activity engaged by the team and that CSR participation intention was higher for fans more loyal to the team, (b) provide evidence that enhancing fans’ trust in the team helps increase CSR participation intention, especially among those having a lower psychological connection to the sport team, and (c) emphasize the importance of authenticity within a sport team’s CSR initiative, where fans develop trust in the team to a similar extent for all fan groups, thus, increasing the likelihood for fans to participate in the team’s CSR program.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.