"You only get back what you put in": perceptions of professional sport organizations as community anchors
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
The following study investigates consumer/fan perceptions concerning the role that professional sport organizations should play within their communities. Using level of fandom and club affiliation as variables, the paper explores the way in which consumer expectations and perceptions of corporate social responsibility are mediated and impacted. A total of 2107 individuals participated in the study. The findings demonstrate the significance of the sport organization as a support network or "social anchor," for instance, through its involvement in mentoring youth, promoting sport participation, and community outreach. Respondents' comments were diverse; some suggested a desire for greater club community relations, while others questioned the necessity to deviate away from the sport organizations' key focus, seeing community outreach as secondary and peripheral. In spite of these perspectives, the study findings underline the expectations placed on professional sport organizations as social anchors, helping preserve as well as reinforce their community relations.