Home' Border Enterprise : October 2012 Contents EnTERPRiSE DiREcT OCTOBER 2012
ED THE SpOrTING lIFE
just about winning
SpORT and RECREaTIOn aCTIVITIES HaVE EVOLVEd InTO an IMpORTanT paRT Of
COnTEMpORaRY LIfE WHICH HaS VaLUE In an IndIVIdUaL, COMMUnITY and BUSInESS SEnSE.
MOST LaRGE BUSInESSES In aUSTRaLIa nOW HaVE a CORpORaTE SOCIaL RESpOnSIBILITY pOLICY.
THErE is a significant crossover between sport and active recreation
Events and activities can provide a boost to the local economy
through ‘sports tourism’ and many businesses become involved by
adopting a policy of corporate or business responsibility.
Sport tourism events have proven to be the most popular form of
sponsorship investment for the corporate world.
The notion of travelling to participate in or to observe sport dates
back to as early as 900BC and the Ancient Greek Games and there
is a school of thought that sports sponsorship originated with Julius
Caesar (circa 65BC) when he underwrote gladiatorial festivals for the
purpose of increasing his esteem.
In more recent times, rural communities faced with declining
populations and economies have increasingly turned to sports events
to bring new money into the area. They can attract visitors resulting
in an increase in business during slow periods and possibly promote
the host region as a tourist destination after an event has been staged.
As well as providing employment they also bring intangible benefits
such as increased community pride.
In most instances, sponsorship provided by small and medium-sized
businesses has proven to be the financial lifeblood of sport tourism
events held in regional areas; on average, providing more than 40
per cent of the revenue necessary to sustain the successful staging of
Depending on the type of sponsorship, there are various ways for a
community group to ensure a successful relationship:
The Business Council of Australia said that for corporations to be
sustainable and successful in the long term, they need to engage
with the community and take account of community attitudes.
Successful companies do this by factoring into their forward
strategies activities that manage the challenges and risks to the
community and capture the opportunities that such engagement
However, corporate responsibility is not just the province of large
corporations. Small and medium-sized business (SMEs) can also
create stronger, more authentic and more productive linkages
between themselves and their communities.
Internationally acclaimed business ethicist and US academic
professor laura Hartman says that companies that profit from
corporate responsibility initiatives are able to deliver the consistent
support that community projects need.
She believes that by engaging in “profitable partnerships”, where
business and social values are aligned, there is a financial incentive
to invest in addressing community needs.
According to professor Hartman, if a business did not have a
vested interest in its philanthropy or charitable giving, it might
give at certain times but would not spend valuable resources every
day on corporate responsibility.
However, she says that if it’s profitable, it’s going to be central to
the business’s core mission - it will do it.
Australia’s great love of sport makes it the perfect vehicle for business
to establish partnerships with the community.
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