Toward a framework of “athlete citizenship” in professional sport through authentic community stakeholder engagement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose – While there is extant research regarding corporate citizenship, the literature negates the micro level of analysis as it only concentrates on macro and/or meso levels. Utilizing sport as a context, more specifically, professional athletes, the purpose of this paper is to introduce a concept termed athlete citizenship. The author defines athlete citizenship as the manner in which a professional athlete conducts himself or herself (on and away from competition) and makes a positive impact on society. The author centralizes community stakeholder engagement as one method of exemplifying athlete citizenship qualities. In doing so, the author attempts to provide professional athletes and their managers with a framework to engage community stakeholders. Design/methodology/approach – Given the scope of what is asked of professional athletes in the current age, the author adopts Sequeira and Warner's (2007) framework on how organizations can engage community stakeholders and applies it to professional athletes. Findings – The author argues that by carrying out authentic community stakeholder engagement, professional athletes can witness strategic benefits such as eliminating resentment, building a positive reputation, attaining revenue-generating ventures, and enhancing their brand. Originality/value – This paper is the first to discuss stakeholder engagement among professional athletes, the notion of athlete citizenship and how these can produce strategic benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-37
Number of pages12
JournalSport, Business and Management: An International Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 4 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


  • Community
  • Corporate citizenship
  • Professional athletes
  • Sport business management
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing


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