Practicum Project | 2024

Assessing sustainability awareness and attitudes within the AC Milan Football Club’s fanbase  

Every year, professional sports are responsible for emitting as much as 350 million tons of carbon dioxide from travel, infrastructure, and waste generation, equivalent to emissions from more than 75 million gas-powered automobiles. Professional sports teams and facility operators have substantial opportunity to implement sustainability practices, and fan perspectives can greatly accelerate such changes. Our team has partnered with one of the most iconic and successful clubs in football history, AC Milan, to survey fan attitudes toward sustainability. Founded in 1899, the club has won the Champions League seven times, as well as five Coppa Italia titles, three Intercontinental Cup titles, and a FIFA World Club Cup title. Some 70,000 fans attend each AC Milan home game, and the club counts 500 million fans worldwide, giving an unparalleled opportunity for assessing the broad range of attitudes fans may have about sustainability practices in relation to sports.

Our team developed and distributed a survey to AC Milan fans and analyzed the resulting data to produce suggestions for actionable changes that AC Milan can make to mitigate the environmental impacts of its operations. We also assessed how commitment to sustainability can be woven into, emphasized, and promoted as part of the AC Milan fan identity. Our final deliverables include discussion of the environmental footprint of major sporting events and the European Union’s environmental policies and transition to a circular economy – a sustainable counterpart of traditional economics with a focus on repurposing waste. 

Student Team:  Alex Bicknell, Justin Choo, Javin Cooper, Aidan Elbettar, Cassidy Moellering, Jessica Read, Ananya Visweswaran, and Michelle Wang 

Client: AC Milan

Advisor: Emma Barnosky