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Sports teams could improve image with diversity advertising, study says

An cleated athletic shoe with rainbow laces

Sports teams and organizations may improve overall response to their advertising by embracing the LBGT market – that is, the market that comprises lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals – a new scholarly article suggests.

The article describes the results of research conducted by George Cunningham, a professor in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University, and E. Nicole Melton, assistant professor of sport management at Texas Tech University,

Cunningham and Melton examined a sample of 203 students enrolled at a large university. Results indicate that those who viewed LGBT-inclusive advertisements were more likely to believe the club was diverse and inclusive (based on racial diversity, sex diversity, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity) than those who viewed non-inclusive advertisements.

Cunningham and Melton also believe their findings may better inform practice and policy-making within sports organizations.

“Sport marketers and managers need to develop LGBT-inclusive policies for their organization,” they say. “Having such policies in place is not only socially responsible, but can also improve organizational processes and outcomes.”