Thorrington to Develop Sustainability Plan for LA Soccer Team

Written by Laura Paskin
April 28, 2016

Graduate student Mark Thorrington, Master of Sport Administration and Leadership (MSAL), received a grant from the Seattle University Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability to develop a sustainability strategic framework for the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC). LAFC is a Major League Soccer expansion team with its inaugural season starting in March 2018.

“The project starts with developing a baseline understanding of the attitudes and expectations prospective fans and key stakeholders have of the newly formed Los Angeles Football Club concerning environmental sustainability,” Thorrington said.

From this understanding, he will help the team formulate their strategic sustainability campaign, determine if they are meeting the expectations of fans and other key stakeholders, and evaluate their initiatives.

“Because Los Angeles is one of the largest cities in the world with a population of more than 18 million in the greater metropolitan area, this project can pave the way for LAFC to be a leader in global efforts to bring sustainable practices to sport leagues,” Thorrington added.

Thorrington developed his proposal in consultation with Professor Brian McCullough, director of the graduate Certificate in Sport Sustainability Leadership offered through the MSAL program. The first of its kind in the world, the graduate Certificate in Sport Sustainability Leadership addresses the global concern for increased environmental and ecological sustainability in the sport industry. The online program draws students from around the world.

“Mark’s line of inquiry seeks to understand how sport teams can position themselves favorably among community members, especially important as LAFC's brand has no existing impressions being an expansion team opening in 2018,” said McCullough. “This is the type of groundbreaking project that will lead the next wave of sport management professionals ready to integrate environmental sustainability into the sport industry.”

McCullough, an internationally recognized leader in bringing sustainable practices to the sport industry, is on the Executive Council of North American Society for Sport Management and a member of the Green Sports Alliance. The 15-credit online Certificate in Sport Sustainability Leadership can be completed in 9 months. Students may apply their certificate credits toward the MSAL degree.