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Despite the widespread growth of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in sport, the majority of professional sport teams still manage social engagement in an opportunistic manner. Tactical attempts toward CSR management can provide discrete and short-term benefits, but lack the ability to create lasting social and economic impacts. This study uses an entrepreneurship perspective to study CSR management in sport. More specifically, it builds on the concept of corporate social entrepreneurship (CSE) to study the transition toward more strategic CSR approaches. Through an in-depth study of a single professional soccer case in Belgium, the drivers of CSE and their relation to strategic CSR development and implementation were explored. The findings indicate the importance of having an intrapreneur, an enabling organization, and, to some extent, stakeholder alliances. Challenges, however, arise at the level of organizational culture and aiming for shared value creation.
Schyvinck, Constandt, and Willem are with Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Babiak is with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.