Master of Education in Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies Graduate Projects


Partnerships are often made between sport management programs and university athletic departments to provide the athletic departments with student volunteers (Pierce et al., 2014). These sport management student volunteers provide athletic departments with a cheap labor force to properly staff and operate both events and normal business operations, while providing volunteers with altruistic benefits from volunteering (Wicker & Hallmann, 2013). Understanding the factors that motivate sport management students to volunteer is important because it can assist athletic departments in satisfying and ultimately retaining their volunteers (Johnson et al., 2017). Smaller intercollegiate athletic departments, such as Bowling Green State University (BGSU), must utilize a multitude of student volunteers so that the department can properly operate while staying within budget.

The purpose of this study was to examine motivation, satisfaction and retention of sport management student volunteers within BGSU Athletics. This was so that proper techniques are utilized by the athletic department in the mutually beneficial relationship between BGSU Athletics and sport management students at BGSU. A 34-item questionnaire was distributed to sport management students at BGSU who were either currently enrolled or were enrolled in one of the previous four sections of the Sport and Event Management (SM 3010) course to measure the motivation, satisfaction and retention of volunteers within BGSU Athletics. These students were chosen for this study because part of the course requirement involved volunteering at a set number of BGSU athletic events during the semester. Twenty-two individuals participated in this study. Results indicated that sport management students at BGSU were motivated to volunteer by the motivation factors of Careerand Understanding. Results also indicated that none of the factors were statistically significant in predicting satisfaction and retention. However, the motivation factors that were most significant in predicting satisfaction were Enhancementand Career, and the motivation factors that were most significant in predicting retention were Protectiveand Understanding. Satisfactionwas also found to be a more significant factor in predicting retention. Recommendations for BGSU Athletics on how to improve volunteer retention, limitations for this study and directions for future research on the subject were discussed.


Ray Schneider

Second Reader

Amanda Paule-Koba, Ph.D.








Sport Administration