Attachment, Allegiance and a Convergent Application of Stakeholder Theory: Assessing the Impact of Winning on Athletic Donations in the Ivy League

Dan Covell

This study investigates how an Ivy League school's football season ticket holders demonstrate their attachment and allegiance to the intercollegiate athletic product through the application of stakeholder theory as a marketing-based construct. This paper merges the tenets of stakeholder theory and the theoretical constructs of attachment and allegiance initially investigated in Covell (2004) to understand the interests and values of these stakeholders, how they demonstrate attachment and allegiance to the sport property, and how they perceive the importance of winning in relation to their proclivities toward charitable donations to the school's athletic funds. Despite numerous assessments, the true impact of athletics on donations across all of intercollegiate athletics remains at best unclear. However, the findings indicate that from an assessment of self-reported athletic giving histories, the stakeholders studied here demonstrated attachment and allegiance to the property by not altering athletic fund donations based on the team's on-field performance.