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Sport sponsorship or patronage?
Sport club’s patronage with Corporate Social Responsibility
By Youngsub Chun
Increasingly, society expects businesses to have an obligation to the society
in which they are located, to the people they employ, and their customers,
beyond their traditional bottom-line and narrow shareholder concerns (Sen
& Bhattacharya, 2001)
Social responsibility of the business concentrates on creating social and
environmental value as a supplement of economic development. It is,
therefore, a derivative of three dimensions: human, environmental and
The UN Global Compact asks companies to embrace, support and enact,
within their sphere of influence, a set of core values in the areas of
human rights, labor standards, the environment and anti-corruption
Sport business and CSR
After commercial success through worldwide broadcasting rights and
sponsorship, sport industry introduced business management and sport
marketing to sport clubs.
After commercial growth of sport business, sport clubs have vastly
influenced beyond fans to community. Therefore sports clubs also have to
do understandable action and participation to community and world a kind
of philanthropy activity.
Differently from sport marketing or case marketing through sponsorship,
sport patronage needs to more emotional and sympathetic marketing
approach, moreover collaboration with people and community are necessary
to be successive.
Sponsorship is an associative marketing tool that creates mutual brand and
business value for both the sponsor and the sponsored activity. Sponsor-
ship refer to provision of assistance either or in kind to as activity by a
commercial organization for the purpose of achieving commercial objec-
tives (Meenaghan 1983).
Patronage is the support, encouragement, or financial aid that an organiza-
tion or individual bestow to another. Provider of patronage (patrons) and re-
ceivers (clients) form a network through which access to various resources is
Business patronage refers to the monetary contribution or in kind, by way of
the business organization, to a non-profit institution, that contributes to car-
rying their mission out in activities of general interest and with the purpose
of reverting part of the profits its obtains back to society.
Therefore, the reason that patronage responds to the company’s vocation to
revert the profits back to society is unattached – since it’s society that
guarantees and makes its existence possible – and has a high altruistic
Big 4 football clubs patronage
FC Barcelona and UNICEF case showed how to succeed through sport
patronage action in sport marketing history.
UNICEF definitely is the best sponsor for FC Barcelona. UNICEF has over 90
percent recognition in most countries in the world. Moreover the brand
identity & goodwill image create trust, love, compassion, and dignity to
people. Any other organization or sport cub cannot produce these kinds of
best brand image through their sponsorship.
Before UNICEF brand, FC Barcelona was just a Catalonia football club but
now FC Barcelona still keeps the world favourite football club with UNICEF
brand as “more than a club”.
Nowadays, big sport clubs also willingly participate lots of patronage
activities through club's foundation.
1. The FC Barcelona Foundation is the entity through which FC Barcelo-
na conveys its corporate social responsibility.
From 2006 the Club has been adhered to the United Nations 'Millenni-
um Development Goals” and yields 0.7% of ordinary income from FC
Barcelona to the Foundation for its projects. Since 2010, the players
and coaching staff from the professional sections of the Club have al-
so donated 0.5% of their wages to the Foundation.
2. The Real Madrid Foundation is the instrument through which the
Real Madrid becomes effective presence in society and develops its
purpose of human and cultural. The Foundation carries out its pro-
grams and activities on four major areas: Sports Activities, Forma-
tive and Cultural Activities, Socio-Relief Activities, International co-
operation, Institutional Activities
3. Manchester United Foundation works in some of the most disadvan-
taged areas across Greater Manchester and uses the passion for Man-
chester United to educate, motivate and inspire young people. - - -
Charities: The Foundation manages the Club’s charity partners, Fran-
cis House Children's Hospice, The Christie and UNICEF, and the distri-
bution of signed merchandise for charitable purposes.
4. Bayern Munich Social Engagements: Apart from being the most suc-
cessful German football club, BM is socially engaged in a number of
activities that help to support the community and people in difficult
situations. It all started around 2004, when a terrible tsunami hit Sri
Lanka and several thousand people lost their lives. In 2008, the organ-
ization donated 100.000 Euro to the German Children Cancer Foun-
dation in the course of a fundraising event organized by Classic Radio.
Nowadays, the concept of “corporate social responsibility” is emerging as
one of the keywords defining today’s business environment, as the emphasis
on the social roles and functions of companies is increasing.
Like any successful management strategy, a corporate social responsibility
(CSR) process of sport clubs needs both high level management vision and
support, and buy-in at all levels of the company.
Furthermore, customers are sensitive not only to sport clubs responsibilities
toward them, but also to its legal/ethical and philanthropic responsibilities.
When they perceive an organization as “bad citizens” regarding such
dimensions, they decrease their affective, normative and continuance bonds
To foster an affectively and normatively customer’s patronage, sport clubs
must care about how their customer’s perceive their corporate social