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Stefan Walzel, Jonathan Robertson and Christos Anagnostopoulos

Over the last four decades, the notion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has attracted considerable interest in both scholarship and practice ( Aguinis & Glavas, 2012 ). In the field of sports, the application of socially responsible programs has gained momentum over the past decade or so

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Yuhei Inoue, Aubrey Kent and Seoki Lee

Despite the acknowledged importance of investigating the link between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate financial performance (CFP) within a single industry, very few studies have examined this relationship in the context of the sport industry. Using charitable giving data as a proxy of CSR, this study investigated if CSR would affect CFP of professional sport teams within the four major U.S. leagues. Although the positive CSR-CFP relationship was hypothesized based on instrumental stakeholder theory, CSR was found to have non-positive effects on CFP. These results are still notable since they may highlight the importance of the connectedness between CSR and team operations and the awareness of CSR activity among stakeholders in leveraging CSR benefits. Overall, through the use of improved methodology, the current study furthers the understanding of the CSR-CFP relationship among the U.S. professional teams.

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Dimitrios Kolyperas, Christos Anagnostopoulos, Simon Chadwick and Leigh Sparks

Despite the increasing number and significance of charitable foundations in various business sectors, their role in cocreating corporate social responsibility (CSR) value remains unclear. This paper identifies CSR value cocreation in professional team sport organizations (PTSOs) and answers three key research questions: (a) Why have PTSOs developed charitable foundations as their means toward CSR value cocreation? (b) What CSR-related resources do PTSOs and their charitable foundations integrate? and (c) How do they manage, share, and transfer such resources to cocreate CSR value? Drawing theoretical insights from service dominant logic and consumer culture theory—and using empirical data from 47 semistructured interviews of UK-based professional football (soccer) clubs—this study develops a communicating vessels framework to illustrate the role of charitable foundations in the CSR value cocreation process. Through four tentative CSR value cocreation levels of relationship (bolt-on, cooperative, controlled, and strategic) the study suggests several internal strategies that can enhance the level of collaboration between founders and foundations. These include information sharing through customer relationship management (CRM) systems and social media platforms; staff sharing or flexible movement across the organizations; quality assurance agreements; flexible team cooperation; partnership protocols with social, media, cultural, and commercial stakeholders; and cotraining of personnel.

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Eva Piatrikova, Nicholas J. Willsmer, Ana C. Sousa, Javier T. Gonzalez and Sean Williams

training. To extend the utility of the CS concept, Dekerle 8 postulated critical stroke rate (CSR) as a biomechanical surrogate of the CS, which represents the highest stroke rate (SR) that can be maintained for an extended period of time and swimmers spontaneously adopt when swimming at CS 8 , 9 ; this

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Joon Kyoung Kim, Holly K. Ott, Kevin Hull and Minhee Choi

This study examined the impact of exposure to corporate social responsibility (CSR) messages on individuals’ attitudes and behavioral intentions toward a Major League Baseball (MLB) team’s CSR efforts. Using a 2 (information source: team source or a third-party source) × 2 (CSR initiatives: efforts to help cancer patients or military appreciation recognition) with two nonfactorial control conditions (team source or a third-party source) experimental design, this study aims to identify how factors such as information source, perceived sincerity, and different types of CSR activities impact a MLB team’s CSR messaging on social media. Path analysis was used to examine significant paths between variables; results indicated that CSR messages generated a halo effect, thus providing implications for how MLB teams should develop CSR strategies and most effectively communicate about these efforts. Theoretical and practical implications of study results are discussed.

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Kathryn L. Heinze, Sara Soderstrom and Jennifer Zdroik

The rise and institutionalization of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in sport is captured in a growing body of work in sport management. This literature suggests professional teams should be strategic in their approaches—matching internal resources with external needs—but we lack an understanding of the processes and mechanisms in the evolution to more strategic CSR, as well as specific practices that characterize these approaches. Further, by focusing on broad trends in how and why teams are adopting CSR, we miss the opportunity to learn from teams with innovative and authentic CSR approaches. To address these gaps, this article uses a qualitative case-study approach to examine how one professional team in the U.S.—the Detroit Lions—evolved their CSR to a more strategic and authentic partnership-focused model. Our findings point to key process steps and mechanisms in the decision making around, and implementation of, this approach, including the role of organizational structure, leadership, and community partnerships. We draw out themes around these central partnerships and highlight best practices. In offering a more nuanced understanding of professional sport CSR process and practice, we contribute to the literature on CSR in sport, sport-community partnerships, and sport and city revitalization.

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Matthew Walker and Aubrey Kent

Organizations within the sport industry are facing increasing pressure to both maintain profitability and behave in socially acceptable ways, yet researchers have provided little information on how consumers perceive and react to corporate social responsibility (CSR). This mixed-design study examined the relationship between CSR activities and fans’ assessments of reputation and patronage intentions. In addition, the study sought to determine the role of team identification in the aforementioned relationship. Fans of two NFL teams were sampled (N = 297), with quantitative results suggesting that CSR is an important predictor of reputation, and that two types of patronage could be significantly impacted as well. The moderating effect of team identification was significant yet influenced the outcomes in different ways. Qualitative findings reinforced the quantitative discussion by providing support for the general conclusions that CSR was viewed favorably by most fans, and is an important aspect of the overall business strategy of a sport organization.

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Kathy Babiak and Richard Wolfe

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become an area of increasing importance for many companies. Professional sport teams, also, are increasingly engaging in socially responsible activities (Irwin, Lachowetz, Cornwell, & Clark, 2003; Kern, 2000; Robinson, 2005). The research described in this article identifies, and determines the relative importance of, the drivers—both internal and external—of socially responsible activities by professional sport teams. Using a qualitative approach, interviews were conducted with sport executives, and organizational documents were analyzed. The data showed that external drivers of CSR, in particular key constituents, the interconnectedness of the field, and pressures from the league were more important determinants of CSR initiatives than the internal resources available to deliver CSR efforts (i.e., attention, media access, celebrity players, coaches, facilities). Based on these preliminary findings, we propose a framework of CSR adoption in professional sport that predicts the types of CSR initiatives a sport organization is likely to adopt depending on its internal and/or external orientation and present a research agenda based on the framework.

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Paul C. Godfrey

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.

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Cole G. Armstrong, Theodore M. Butryn, Vernon L. Andrews and Matthew A. Masucci

practices. One strategic element germane to the business practices of many modern organizations is corporate social responsibility (CSR). According to Bradish and Cronin ( 2009 ), “CSR can be broadly understood as the responsibility of organizations to be ethical and accountable to the needs of their