New research tackles role of CSR and corporate investment in sport

New research tackles role of CSR and corporate investment in sport

Research conducted by KantarMedia, with the support of Beyond Sport and SportAccord, has highlighted the need for a re-evaluation of the role of CSR and corporate investment in sport and development by businesses, NGOs and sporting bodies around the world.

Research conducted by KantarMedia, with the support of Beyond Sport and SportAccord, has highlighted the need for a re-evaluation of the role of CSR and corporate investment in sport and development by businesses, NGOs and sporting bodies around the world.

The research, published ahead of next week’s Beyond Sport Summit and Awards in Cape Town, calls on the industry to both examine the motivation behind its corporate social responsibility (CSR) investment and demonstrate that it is fulfilling its objectives.  KantarSport, Kantar Media’s specialist sport arm, interviewed more than 250 NGOs, international sports federations and corporates.

A key disconnect was between the 72% of corporate respondents who pointed to the positive impact of CSR on brand and reputation and the fact that only 41% of the CSR budgets in question were marketing-based. Those statistics add to the impression that the sport and development industry as a whole must demonstrate more effectively that CSR is not simply a charitable donation, but can be an important part of a company’s business.

Likewise, the positive effect reported on issues such as improved relations with stakeholders should be highlighted by those seeking to engage corporate investment. With budgets tight but two in three corporates willing to provide employee time, those NGOs which seek employee time and skills rather than straight financial injections are likely to achieve greater success in terms of attracting corporate support.

Nick Keller, the Founder of Beyond Sport, said: “At Beyond Sport United in September, Harvard’s Professor Michael Porter spoke of the importance of taking CSR to a new level with the concept of Creating Shared Value (CSV) – the introduction by companies of social and developmental policies that benefit their business as well as having a positive effect on their communities. This research by KantarSport highlights a similar theme. It is up to all of us in the world of sport and development to demonstrate that backing projects seeking to have a real social impact through sport is in the best interests of corporate sponsors, rather than simply putting out our hands and hoping for hand-outs.”

The research is the first stage of a project that is aiming to increase understanding of the motivations and challenges around investment in the sport and development sector. It is being conducted by KantarMedia with the backing of Beyond Sport and SportAccord, the Lausanne-based umbrella organisation of international sports federations and sports related organisations, with the findings set to be presented at the Beyond Sport Summit, to be held in Cape Town between Monday 5th and Thursday 8th December 2011.

Confirmed speakers at the Beyond Sport Summit include former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Olympic legend Michael Johnson, multi-Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius, former South Africa national football captain Lucas Radebe, and a host of other star names from South African and international sport, politics and business.

Beyond Sport is a global initiative that seeks to celebrate and support any organisation or individual with the goal to drive positive social change through sport. It is partnered with Barclays Spaces for Sports, TIME Inc and UNICEF.

For the full programme of the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards 2011, or for more information on Beyond Sport, visit www.beyondsport.org.

KantarSport is the specialist sports and sponsorship research solution from KantarMedia, a division of Kantar – visit http://www.kantarmediauk.com/kantarsport.aspx.

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