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Samuel López-Carril and Christos Anagnostopoulos

Sport’s social and commercial values are indisputable, as is its communicative power. Common denominators and facilitators for these values within the organizational field of sport seem to be the ever-increasing practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR; Kolyperas, Anagnostopoulos, Chadwick

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Cheri Bradish and J. Joseph Cronin

Over the past decade, there has been a groundswell of support within the sport industry to be “good sports”, as evidenced by a growing number of, and commitment to, “giving” initiatives and “charitable” programs. Consider the following examples:

• In 1998, the “Sports Philanthropy Project” was founded, devoted to “harnessing the power of professional sports to support the development of healthy communities.” (Sports Philanthropy Project, 2009) To date, this organization has supported and sustained over 400 philanthropic-related organizations associated with athlete charities, league initiatives, and team foundations in the United States and Canada.

• In 2003, “Right To Play” (formerly Olympic Aid) the international humanitarian organization was established, which has used sport to bring about change in over 40 of the world's most disadvantaged communities. Of note is their vision to “engage leaders on all sides of sport, business and media, to ensure every child's right to play” (www.righttoplay.com).

• In 2005, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) became one of the first sport organizations to create an internal corporate social responsibility unit, and soon thereafter committed a significant percentage of their revenues to related corporate social responsibility programs (FIFA, 2005).

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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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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

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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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Cindy Lee, Hyejin Bang, and David J. Shonk

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is notably prevalent in the corporate world. The CSR is defined as actions that appear to contribute to a social good that extends beyond the financial interests of their company and are not required by law ( Kim et al., 2017 ). The premise of CSR is grounded

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Danielle K. Smith and Jonathan Casper

their respective corporate social responsibility (CSR) arms during COVID-19. Specifically, it will analyze and discuss three areas of sport communication: the role that CSR plays during crisis communication, how U.S. sport league CSR programs reacted and structured their CSR communications, and how fans

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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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Shaun M. Anderson and Matthew M. Martin

MLB faces in getting African Americans interested and involved with the game of baseball. Specifically, we examined MLB’s social-outreach programs as a social-responsibility and relationship-management strategy using corporate social responsibility (CSR) and relationship-management theory (RMT

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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.