Corporate Social Responsibility in Professional Sport: Investigating Partnerships and the Desire for Authenticity



Kartun, Leah K

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The increasing focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in sport indicates its growing influence on brand, organizational structure and fulfillment of stakeholder needs. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was two-fold: to investigate professional sport organizations’ (PSO) perceptions of their CSR partnerships and to examine the concept of authenticity as it may relate to such social responsibility efforts. Findings indicated that the PSO respondents feel favorably toward their current CSR partnership efforts wherein philanthropic and ethical social responsibilities have a greater impact over economic and legal duties, and work to incorporate perceived elements of authenticity (i.e., passion, collaboration, consistency) into these relationships. A low response rate limits the ability to generalize results to the larger population, but the research does help to unpack notions of authenticity as well as highlight external and internal priorities that may help serve as a road map for PSOs that desire to be influential and genuine partners.



Sport, Corporate social responsibility, Partnership, Authentic