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Corporate social responsibility and governance in sport: “Oh, the things you can find, if you don’t stay behind!”

Tim Breitbarth (Department of Sport Management, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK)
Stefan Walzel (Department of Sport Economics and Sport Management, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne, Germany)
Christos Anagnostopoulos (Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences, University College Molde, Molde, Norway AND Department of Sport Management, UCLan, Larnaka, Cyprus)
Frank van Eekeren (School of Governance, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Article publication date: 7 April 2015




The purpose of this paper is to provide practical and future research implications for the field of governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in sports to strengthen the depth of knowledge in this area.


This paper reviews parts of the existing international literature and draws on literature from general business, management and governance to widen the scope and open spaces of opportunities for interested researchers.


The authors find six themes that are of particular relevance and cluster them along context, content and process to map out critical and promising aspects that we believe will progress our understanding of and contribution to CSR and governance in sport: features and idiosyncrasies of sport in relation to governance and CSR; the relevance and impact of regional and cultural context; reflections on “content” of CSR in sport in difference to CSR through sport; the quest for the business case for CSR in sport and consumer reactions; the potential for interdisciplinary, multilevel and longitudinal research; and finding a critical voice and relating research (back) to industry and practice.


The paper reviews and interlinks the topic of CSR and governance in sport in new ways and with an established, wider body of knowledge, and provides new inspiration and starting points for research from both a broader management angle and a sport-specific angle.



Breitbarth, T., Walzel, S., Anagnostopoulos, C. and van Eekeren, F. (2015), "Corporate social responsibility and governance in sport: “Oh, the things you can find, if you don’t stay behind!”", Corporate Governance, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 254-273.



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