What impact has the commercialisation of English Football clubs had on their own Corporate Social Responsibility policies?
CSR is a subject which is nowadays widely discussed, alongside its relevance within the sports entertainment industry. The aim of this paper is to investigate the implementation of CSR within English football and how during this time it has impacted the brand image of English football clubs.
There has been growing evidence to suggest that a successful CSR strategy can add real benefits to the wider business strategies of sports organisations and is one that is being taken increasingly seriously by leading stakeholders in European football (Hamil et al; 2010)
Football clubs are in a unique position of being able to deliver widespread CSR benefits, but they also need to build a relationship with neighbouring communities due to their need for planning permission or perhaps the implementation of a rebrand, which in the recent cases of Cardiff City’s shirt colour change and Hull City’s name rebrand saw great opposition to the ideas of its owners and consequently damaged the image and reputation of the football clubs in question.
There is also the issue of corruption at the highest levels of the game and the often much publicised racist/swearing/cheating footballers which suggests that football clubs need to consider their approach to CSR policy.
The aim of this paper is investigate how football clubs could improve their CSR practices and strategies.
1 – To understand the motivation of football clubs and their owners for implementing CSR policies
2 – To describe the CSR programmes of the clubs and future scope.
3 – To measure the successes (and failures) of implemented CSR programmes
Football is ingrained within the very fabric of English culture; it is covered daily from all aspects of the media - from the back pages of its printed press to their websites. Football clubs themselves are verified and represented on social media, in fact, this increasing awareness of image and brand has seen football organisations employ social media agencies to monitor and distribute statements as and when a club see fit.
As recently as ten years ago, CSR issues did not play a significant role in sport (Kott, 2005). Since then professional football clubs have entered into socially responsible initiatives (fitness within the community/school visits), realising the potential use for their own organisational purposes, equally they may have also have become aware that sport is uniquely positioned to influence society in general and communities in particular.
Edward Freeman (1984 p46) stated that stakeholders; “..are those groups or individuals who can affect or are affected by the achievement of the organistation’s objectives or are those with a direct (or indirect) interest in the company..”
Football clubs have advantages that organisations in other industries do not, the availability of...