Sports Social Responsibility: Exploring the Unexplored with a Global Perspective

By Arora, Nilesh; Grewal, Bani et al. | IUP Journal of Marketing Management, February 2019 | Go to article overview

Sports Social Responsibility: Exploring the Unexplored with a Global Perspective


Arora, Nilesh, Grewal, Bani, Singh, Gurkeerat, IUP Journal of Marketing Management


Introduction

As per a Business Insider report in May 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo, the famous Soccer player, had endorsements worth $27.0 mn, 111.4 million Facebook likes and 42.1 million Twitter followers, and the world was astonished to see how a single person could potentially influence so many people. Earlier, only large media houses had that potential. In a span of less than a year, in December 2016, as per a Forbes report, Cristiano Ronaldo had 82.9 million followers on Instagram. Several other sports celebrities and athletes too command such following on social media. In March 2018, world famous Basketball player LeBron James had 41 million followers on Twitter. One of the most successful cricketers globally, Sachin Tendulkar, had 24.9 million followers on Twitter, closely followed by Virat Kohli with 23.8 million followers. Neymar Jr. had 38.7 million followers on Twitter, showing the global influence of these sports celebrities.

Since sports can be watched on a variety of platforms, sports marketing can take many different forms, which may promote and advertise a social cause through paid or unpaid mediums. This form of societal marketing, which is SSR, would be a win-win situation for all: not only would it benefit the society but also boost the brand image of the sports committee and increase the TRP of the sports event.

The application of Business Intelligence in this field shows that stock markets show an upward trend and economy in terms of GDP grows in countries hosting mega sports events. This data can be used to promote economic growth by using digital marketing to educate individuals about financial inclusion and investment options for future growth, also inviting FDI.

The paper aims to propose a new societal marketing strategy. The strategy, termed as SSR, combines the reach of influential sports personalities that have large social followings with sports event marketing for a social cause that is globally relevant. Such campaigns are likely to go well beyond the promotion period because people are more likely to remember the campaign since it features someone they trust and respect.

Literature Review

Ashton et al. (2003) reported a strong association between the performance of the England football team and subsequent daily changes in the FTSE 100 index, representing the price of shares in the 100 largest companies traded on the London Stock Exchange. Brückner and Pappa (2015) examined the macroeconomic effects of bidding for the Olympic Games using panel data for 188 countries during the period 1950-2009. The findings confirm that economies react to news shocks: investment, consumption, and output significantly increase nine to seven years before the actual event in bidding countries. Hosting countries also experience significant increases in investment, consumption and output five to two years before the hosting of the games. The macroeconomic effects associated with hosting the Olympic Games occur well in advance before the actual event. Traditional sports events like the Olympics always combine ceremonies and festivals. A mega event has two main characteristics: internal aspects and external aspects. The internal aspect is mainly its scale, while the external aspect is mostly its attractiveness to tourism and the media, and its economic impact on the host city (Malfas et al., 2004). Although mega events have a limited duration, they have a huge impact on the host country in terms of tourist volumes, visitor expenditure, heightened awareness and a positive image of the city. There are also related infrastructural and organizational developments, which increase the destination's competence and attractiveness (Fayos, 1998).

Tsuji et al. (2007) examined consumer satisfaction with an action sports event. Nicholls et al. (1994) examined the impact of sports event sponsorship on brand promotion. McDonald (1991) examined the relation between sponsorship and image of the sponsor. …

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