What Impact Has the Commercializaiton of English Football Clubs Had on Their Own Corporate Responsibility Policies

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What impact has the commercialisation of English Football clubs had on their own Corporate Social Responsibility policies? Introduction 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…show more content…
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 celebrity sportsmen and the media exposure of their events, leagues, teams and footballers themselves (Smith and Westerbeek (2007) list seven unique features of sport and corporate responsibility, mass media distribution and communication power; youth appeal; positive health initiatives; sustainability awareness, cultural understanding and integration and immediate gratification benefits. These advantages can result in sport organisations having a greater effect than other businesses in providing inspiration to areas such as education and health care for children, health and exercise, concern

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