Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Sport and Recreation Administration


Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management

First Advisor

Nicholas Watanabe

Second Advisor

Cheng Yan

Relational Format



To date, environmental issues have become one of the most complex social and economic issues across the globe. Specifically, in the context of sport, the literature has considered how sport organizations may use environmental concerns as a way to connect to consumers, such as through the use of environmentally practices to help build the image of sport organizations. However, despite this lineage of studies, research which has focused on how changing environmental conditions may influence sport consumers are virtually non-existent. Such research is especially important in the case of China, where due to the rapid growth of urban areas and industrialization, there has been a range of environmental issues which has plagued the country. Specifically, air pollution has become one of the most urgent problems in everyday public life in China as many urban centers experience heavy air pollution which has been linked to increased mortality rates in the general population. Furthermore, as China is also one of the fastest developing sport marketplaces, the increased number of individuals who attend sporting events are potentially being exposed to health risks through their consumption behaviors. Considering all of this, the present research focuses on investigating the impact that air pollution has on fan attendance for the Chinese Super League (CSL), the top-level of professional soccer in the country. In order to conduct such an examination, this study utilizes economic theory focused on the demand for sport to develop models to analyze match-level attendance at CSL games. Using data from the 2014 to 2016 seasons, multiple regression analysis is conducted to estimate whether air pollution levels influence consumer interest in attending matches. From this, the findings not only provide understanding about sport consumption behaviors in China, but also have wide-reaching ethical and policy implications for sport organizations, governmental agencies, and other stakeholders.



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