Sport—writ large—exists as a significant social institution, both in terms of economic and social impacts on the society of which it is a key part. This essay provides a systematic introduction to the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) for sport management scholars and practitioners. I review the historical development of CSR in the United States, provide a summary of the major theories and models currently in use by theorists and researchers, and identify key issues facing the CSR discourse. I conclude by returning to the notion of sport as an institution and try to raise questions, as an outsider, which may provoke thinking and perhaps action by sport management scholars and practitioners.
Godfrey is with the Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84604.