Like the stadiums in which they play, major collegiate and professional sports teams are perpetually connected to their cities. Accordingly, many sports organizations actively engage in their communities by establishing foundations, holding neighborhood camps and clinics, or providing support for local programs and projects. Additionally, when cities host major sporting events such as the Super Bowl, NCAA Championships, or Olympic and Paralympic Games, they often experience an influx of community-building activities. If managed correctly, these forms of outreach can be an effective means of community building and civic engagement; conversely, misguided efforts to connect a team, league, or federation to the community can result in unsuccessful programming.
In conjunction with the Rankin Cooter Bureau for Sport Business Research, CSUP research evaluates the effectiveness of community engagement projects initiated by sport organizations. Of particular interest to CSUP is the degree to which such projects promote the growth of strong, resilient, and inclusive communities. Additionally, this line of inquiry presents service-learning opportunities for affiliated students and faculty.