The state of development of corporate social responsibility in European professional football: a comparison of the countries of Germany, England and Switzerland

This source preferred by Tim Breitbarth

Authors: Hovemann, G., Breitbarth, T. and Walzel, S.

Journal: Journal of Sponsorship

Volume: 4

Pages: 338-352

ISSN: 1754-1360

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is taking on an increasingly important role on the public and research agenda as well as in modern business management. This paper investigates CSR in the context of European professional football and contributes to the analysis, presentation and optimisation of CSR opportunities. A comparative study was designed based on insights available from other industries as well as considerations regarding the specific football context. Results from management interviews and website analyses of all English, German and Swiss top national league clubs show different levels of CSR commitment and communication, and diverse forms of CSR activities and formal integration. Currently, English football seems to lead the way in this field. Also, a link between commercial/sporting success and sophistication of the clubs’ CSR activities is revealed across all leagues. This paper is particularly relevant for both researchers and sports managers/marketers because CSR has become an important challenge to the established sports sponsorship concept.

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