Sponsorship of Sports Events: A Tool to Develop Social Entrepreneurship and the Corporate Social Responsibility

Part of the International Studies in Entrepreneurship book series (ISEN, volume 36)


This study analyses the motives of companies to supporting and sponsoring social actions or projects developed through sport events. To this end, we applied a questionnaire to 80 CEOs, vice presidents, directors or managers at companies operating in different economic sectors. The questionnaire contained five analytical dimensions: innovation and creativity; motivation; social responsibility; image; and sales/income. The core motive identified by companies rendering support to community-based sport projects stems from believing that every type of company holds social responsibility with the objective of making money the least valued motive when considering participation in this type of initiative. We are correspondingly able to conclude that companies investing in socially responsible actions improve their market positioning and motivate their members of staff.


Social entrepreneurship Sponsorship of sports Social responsibility 



The authors would like to thank to NECE—Research Unit in Business Sciences funded by the Multiannual Funding Programme of R&D Centres of FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, under the project “UID/GES/04630/2013”.


  1. Aguinis, H., & Glavas, A. (2012). What we know and don’t know about corporate social responsibility: A review and research agenda. Journal of Management, 38(4), 932–968.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Audretsch, D. B. (2002). The dynamic role of small firms: Evidence from the US. Small Business Economics, 18(1–3), 13–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Austin, J., Stevenson, H., & Wei-Skillern, J. (2006). Social and commercial entrepreneurship: Same, different, or both? Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 30(1), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Babiak, K., & Wolfe, R. (2006). More than just a game? Corporate social responsibility and Super Bowl XL. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 15(4), 214–222.Google Scholar
  5. Baron, D. P. (2007). Corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 16(3), 683–717. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-9134.2007.00154.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beutler, I. (2008). Sport serving development and peace: Achieving the goals of the United Nations through sport. Sport in Society, 11(4), 359–369. doi: 10.1080/17430430802019227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blumrodt, J., Desbordes, M., & Bodin, D. (2013). Professional football clubs and corporate social responsibility. Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, 3(3), 205–225. doi: 10.1108/SBM-04-2011-0050.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Braunerhjelm, P., & Henrekson, M. (2009). Awarding entrepreneurship research: A presentation of the Global Award. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33(3), 809–814.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bridgstock, R., Lettice, F., Özbilgin, M. F., & Tatli, A. (2010). Diversity management for innovation in social enterprises in the UK. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 22(6), 557–574. doi: 10.1080/08985626.2010.488404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brown, T. J., & Dacin, P. A. (1997). The company and the product: Corporate associations and consumer product responses. The Journal of Marketing, 61(1), 68–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Carlsson, B., Braunerhjelm, P., McKelvey, M., Olofsson, C., Persson, L., & Ylinenpaa, H. (2013). The evolving domain of entrepreneurship research. Small Business Economics, 41(4), 913–930.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carroll, A. B., & Shabana, K. M. (2010). The business case for corporate social responsibility: A review of concepts, research and practice. International Journal of Management Reviews, 12(1), 85–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Choi, N., & Majumdar, S. (2014). Social entrepreneurship as an essentially contested concept: Opening a new avenue for systematic future research. Journal of Business Venturing, 29(3), 363–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  15. Cohen, A., & Peachey, J. W. (2015). The making of a social entrepreneur: From participant to cause champion within a sport-for-development context. Sport Management Review, 18(1), 111–125. doi: 10.1016/j.smr.2014.04.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dacin, P. A., Dacin, M. T., & Matear, M. (2010). Social entrepreneurship: Why we don’t need a new theory and how we move forward from here. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 24(3), 37–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dahalan, N., Jaafar, M., & Rosdi, S. A. M. (2013). Local community readiness in entrepreneurship: Do gender differ in searching business opportunity. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 91, 403–410. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.08.437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Darnell, S. (2010). Power, politics and “sport for development and peace”: Investigating the utility of sport for international development. Sociology of Sport Journal, 27(1), 54–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Desbordes, M. (2002). Empirical analysis of the innovation phenomena in the sports equipment industry. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 14(4), 481–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dorado, S. (2006). Social entrepreneurial ventures: Different values so different process of creation, no? Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 11(4), 319–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Elkington, J. (1994). Towards the sustainable corporation: Win-win-win business strategies for sustainable development. California Management Review, 36(2), 90–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Esgandari, S., Mohammadi, S., & Moharramzadeh, M. (2012). The relationship between social capital and Entrepreneurship in Exercising and Youth Administration of Ardebil Province. Archives of Applied Science Research, 4(5), 2105–2109.Google Scholar
  23. Felício, J. A., Gonçalves, H. M., & Gonçalves, V. C. (2013). Social value and organizational performance in non-profit social organizations: Social entrepreneurship, leadership, and socioeconomic context effects. Journal of Business Research, 66(10), 2139–2146. doi: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.02.040.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Filizöz, B., & Fişne, M. (2011). Corporate social responsibility: A study of striking corporate social responsibility practices in sport management. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 24, 1405–1417. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.09.062.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fombrun, C. J., Gardberg, N. A., & Barnett, M. L. (2000). Opportunity platforms and safety nets: Corporate citizenship and reputational risk. Business and Society Review, 105(1), 85–106. doi: 10.1111/0045-3609.00066.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Franco, M., & Pessoa, N. (2014). University sports partnerships as collaborative entrepreneurship: An exploratory case study. Administration & Society, 46(8), 885–907.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Friedman, M. (1970, September). The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. New York Times Magazine, 122–124.Google Scholar
  28. Goff, B. L., McCormick, R. E., & Tollison, R. D. (2002). Racial integration as an innovation: Empirical evidence from sports leagues. American Economic Review, 92(1), 16–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Granados, M. L., Hlupic, V., Coakes, E., & Mohamed, S. (2011). Social enterprise and social entrepreneurship research and theory. Social Enterprise Journal, 7(3), 198–218. doi: 10.1108/17508611111182368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hardy, S. (1986). Entrepreneurs, organizations, and the sport marketplace—Subjects in search of historians. Journal of Sport History, 13(1), 14–33.Google Scholar
  31. Harvey, B. (2001). Measuring the effects of sponsorships. Journal of Advertising Research, 41(1), 59–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Henrekson, M., & Lundström, A. (2009). The Global Award for entrepreneurship research. Small Business Economics, 32(1), 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jennings, P. D., Greenwood, R., Lounsbury, M. D., & Suddaby, R. (2013). Institutions, sentrepreneurs, and communities: A special issue on entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 28(1), 1–9. doi: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2012.07.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lichtenstein, D. R., Drumwright, M. E., & Braig, B. M. (2004). The effect of corporate social responsibility on customer donations to corporate-supported nonprofits. Journal of Marketing, 68(4), 16–32. doi: 10.1509/jmkg. Scholar
  35. Lii, Y. S., Wu, K. W., & Ding, M. C. (2013). Doing good does good? Sustainable marketing of CSR and consumer evaluations. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 20(1), 15–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mair, J., & Marti, I. (2006). Social entrepreneurship research: A source of explanation, prediction, and delight. Journal of World Business, 41(1), 36–44. doi: 10.1016/j.jwb.2005.09.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McClelland, D. C. (1961). The achieving society. Princeton: Van Norstrand Company.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Miragaia, D. A. M., Martins, C. I. N., Kluka, D. A., & Havens, A. (2015). Corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship and sport programs to develop social capital at community level. International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing, 12(2), 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Murphy, P. J., & Coombes, S. M. (2009). A model of social entrepreneurial discovery. Journal of Business Ethics, 87(3), 325–336. doi: 10.1007/s10551-008-9921-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Nicholson, M., Brown, K., & Hoye, R. (2014). Sport, community involvement and social support. Sport in Society, 17(1), 6–22. doi: 10.1080/17430437.2013.828696.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Peredo, A. M., & Chrisman, J. J. (2006). Toward a theory of community-based enterprise. Academy of Management Review, 31(2), 309–328. doi: 10.5465/AMR.2006.20208683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Perić, J., & Delić, A. (2016). Developing social responsibility in Croatian Universities: A benchmarking approach and an overview of current situation. International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing, 13(1), 69–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Perrini, F., & Vurro, C. (2006). Social entrepreneurship: Innovation and social change across theory and practice. In J. Robinson, J. Mair, & K. Hockerts (Eds.), Social entrepreneurship (pp. 57–85). Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Plewa, C., & Quester, P. G. (2011). Sponsorship and CSR: Is there a link? A conceptual framework. International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship, 12(4), 301–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ratten, V. (2010). Developing a theory of sport-based entrepreneurship. Journal of Management & Organization, 16(4), 557–565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ratten, V. (2011). Sport-based entrepreneurship: Towards a new theory of entrepreneurship and sport management. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 7(1), 57–69. doi: 10.1007/s11365-010-0138-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rodriguez, M. A., Ricart, J. E., & Sanchez, P. (2002). Sustainable development and the sustainability of competitive advantage: A dynamic and sustainable view of the firm. Creativity and Innovation Management, 11(3), 135–146. doi: 10.1111/1467-8691.00246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rupp, D. E., Ganapathi, J., Aguilera, R. V., & Williams, C. A. (2006). Employee reactions to corporate social responsibility: An organizational justice framework. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27(4), 537–543. doi: 10.1002/job.380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Schwartz, M. S., & Carroll, A. B. (2003). Corporate social responsibility: A three-domain approach. Business Ethics Quarterly, 13(4), 503–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Shane, S., & Venkataraman, S. (2000). The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. Academy of Management Review, 25(1), 217–226. doi: 10.5465/AMR.2000.2791611.Google Scholar
  51. Short, J. C., Moss, T. W., & Lumpkin, G. T. (2009). Research in social entrepreneurship: Past contributions and future opportunities. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 3(2), 161–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Smallbone, T. (2004). Can ‘market transformation’ lead to ‘sustainable business’? A critical appraisal of the UK’s strategy for sustainable business. Business Strategy and the Environment, 13(2), 96–106. doi: 10.1002/bse.397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tapsell, P., & Woods, C. (2010). Social entrepreneurship and innovation: Self-organization in an indigenous context. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 22(6), 535–556. doi: 10.1080/08985626.2010.488403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Trivedi, C., & Stokols, D. (2011). Social enterprises and corporate enterprises fundamental differences and defining features. Journal of Entrepreneurship, 20(1), 1–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Ulhøi, J. P. (2005). The social dimensions of entrepreneurship. Technovation, 25(8), 939–946. doi: 10.1016/j.technovation.2004.02.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Walker, M., & Parent, M. (2010). Toward an integrated framework of corporate social responsibility, responsiveness, and citizenship in sport. Sport Management Review, 13(3), 198–213. doi: 10.1016/j.smr.2010.03.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sport Sciences DepartmentUniversity of Beira InteriorCovilhãPortugal
  2. 2.Management and Economics DepartmentUniversity of Beira InteriorCovilhãPortugal

Personalised recommendations