Evaluating the impact of a sport-based corporate social responsibility program on multicultural youth in South Korea
MetadataShow full item record
With increasing attention being given to corporate social responsibility (CSR) by corporations, it has become apparent that more corporations are involved in CSR initiatives. Sport business entities also have widely embraced the principles and practices of CSR over the past decades (Babiak & Wolfe, 2009; Bradish & Cronin, 2009). The deployment of CSR through sport offers substantial potential for a return to the community due to the ubiquitous appeal of sport, so that CSR in sport has been practiced by a considerable number of athletes, teams, leagues, sport franchises, and sporting goods manufacturing companies (Bardish & Cronin, 2009). Despite the increasing emphasis on CSR initiatives using sport in the marketplace, little is known about the effects of CSR programs. In other words, there is little transparent evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of CSR programs in sport. Hence, the purpose of this study is to determine if a sport-based corporate social responsibility program provides discernable benefits to its participants. It also seeks to determine if the program meets the needs of the intended beneficiaries. Furthermore, it tries to see if the CSR program through sport is not misused as a PR strategy or a device to please shareholders. Through a series of interviews with program stakeholders, secondary document analysis, and personal observations, the researcher was able to assess the outcomes of a baseball program for multicultural children in Korea, operated by a nonprofit baseball foundation. The findings of this study have shown that the program did produce a positive change in the attitudes and opinions of the participants. However, the findings of this study also showed that some promises that the foundation made were not fulfilled. Beneath the surface of the public-facing socially responsible program was a somewhat devious plan by the foundation to exploit the children for bolstering the foundation’s public image. The founder did just enough to ensure his foundation was viewed as socially responsible but not enough to operate a good quality program.