Assignment 1: Social Performance of Organizations
National Football League (NFL)
Dr. Antoinette Bridges
BUS 475 – Business and Society
Nov 2, 2014
Corporate social responsibility in professional sports first emerged from the idea that charitable endeavors and community outreach programs could help boost fan support and increase revenues. Today, many professional leagues and franchises use their social responsibility efforts as a way to improve their public relations and marketing strategies
( “Sports Philanthropy”, 2009).
Increasingly, teams see social responsibility as critical in bridging the gap between athletes and fans as a result of astronomical player salaries ...view middle of the document...
Kobe Bryant also had similar reputation damage when he was on trial for rape in 2004. Although charges were eventually dropped, Bryant lost a sponsorship from McDonalds and it has taken him years to rebuild his image and reputation (“McDonalds cuts,” 2004). Because of the importance of reputation, sports franchises and athletes are investing heavily in the notion of corporate social responsibility. As the presence and influence of sports in today‟s culture continues to grow, so does its ability to influence positive change in communities around the world. In recent years the image-conscious NBA, NFL, and MLB have all faced public erception challenges as a result of a number of factors including: steroid, drug, and alcohol use, negative player and fan interactions, showboating and arrogant player attitudes, and off the field player misconduct (“Sports Philanthropy”, 2009). Consequently, sports franchises have taken a similar route as traditional corporations and increased CSR in order to improve their image and continue to draw support from fans. According to “Sport as a Vehicle for Deploying Corporate Social Responsibility,” sports organizations have an obligation to society even greater than corporations (Smith&Westerbeek,2007):
Both are members of the community subject to the expectations of society and
both can potentially generate social benefits. However, the nature of sport lends itself to being uniquely positioned to influence society in general and communities in particular. In other words, sport organizations are already implicitly woven into society, an integrative characteristic limited in commercial business organizations (p. 48).From an economic point of view, sports franchises and corporations both have a responsibility to earn a profit. However, because sports franchises earn this profit solely from community support through ticket purchases, they have an obligation to their respective cities (Smith &Westerbeek,2007). Yet, sports franchises have always contributed towards the economic development of their cities by way of their very existence: fans going to a game can go restaurants, stay in hotels, pay for parking, or buy souvenirs (Smith &Westerbeek,2007). A team also provides jobs to local communities by employing a number of workers including: maintenance workers, ticket distributors, and front-office managers(“Sports Philanthropy,” 2009)
. However, sports leagues and franchises have taken actions further in recent years to address perception and image concerns. Leagues throughout the U.S. have used CSR activities to bring attention to a range social issues that have plagued their sports including: performance-enhancing drug use, sex and alcohol offenses, role modeling, racism, and gender inequality (Smith&Westerbeek, 2007).Professional sports franchises have numerous ways to employ CSR. They can do so through grants, gifts, cause-related marketing, sponsorships, financial contributions, employee...