CSR Strategy in Sports
1. Major stakeholders
In order to define good CSR strategy for the Sporting Good Companies, we need to identify the major stakeholders of the sector. Many actors are related and impacted by brands, but the following 10 stakeholders should be especially taken into consideration when developing a CSR strategy.
Provide products and services to consumers, who provide money in return. Suppliers
Directly linked with the quality and perception of the brand. A good brand must be able to work with good and ethical suppliers. Investors
They expect returns on investment. They are usually less concerned by CSR and more by financial results. Any decision made has to convince them of the long-term interest of taking that action. Employees
They earn the money from the company. A specificity of the sport industry is the tight relationship employees usually have with the brand they are working for. There is a strong hare of values. Community
Every brand has to keep up in line with the values of the community. They must ensure the reputation of the brand by following good ethical behavior. Events Organizer / Committees
It represents a complex mutual relation. Events need the brands to bring money through sponsorship, but also quality products to ensure quality show while brands need events for exposure and show their strength. Clubs / Athletes
As for events, brands will associate its image with clubs or athletes. When taking CSR decisions, it has to respect the values of these stakeholders to avoid conflicts. Competitors
When positioning against competitors, CSR can be use as marketing tool. Governments
Local and national government body are major actors in any strategic decision for brands. NGO’s
NGO’s represent a good way to show concern on social topic for brands.
2. Pros and Cons of CSR for stakeholders
Before entering into any CSR strategy for a sporting good brand, it is important to estimate the impact it can possibly have on your stakeholders.
First of all lets consider the main positive effects. On the one hand, CSR as a general strategy provides a good image and impact positively the bond between customers and the brand. It is also a good tool to increase the community base with deeper and stronger values. Though it has to be consider that a strong positioning can sometimes have the opposite effect with customers no longer identifying with the brand values.
On the second hand, social responsibilities are a good way to motivate your employees and thus increase your production and/or quality. It has a positive impact on the unity of all your members and helps create a healthier working environment. This is also a positive way to increase the attractiveness of your company through fair hiring process and rewarding treatments. Moreover, CSR can increase the company reputation. This will positively impact the business with suppliers but also with governments, event organizers, committees and athletes. Not only these actors will be more willing to work with you, but also your existing partners will benefit from your positive reputation. Nonetheless, even though sport industry share generally the same big values, a strong positioning can once again result in conflicts with potential partner and needs to be taken into consideration.
Nonetheless, CSR cannot only affect positively the entire group of stakeholders. Among the main stakeholders concerned about CSR are the investors. Social Responsibility is broadly understood as spending money and not earning return on investments. And these cost matters get more important when considering medium and small enterprises. Program to reduce environment impacts for example are costly, the same when it comes to relocating decisions.
Discussing all possible positive and negative impacts on stakeholders isn’t possible. Sport industry is a complex structure and the tight links between companies and their...
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