Go with it – never against it.
by Derek Linsell on 12/07/2012
Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream. Never up.
Can’t we all learn from this? Not just about kayaking, but about so many things in life. Particularly when it comes to harnessing the position on corporate social responsibility in your organisation.
I recently found a great piece on TriplePundit, where they discussed the business around corporate social responsibility in major sporting events and the impact they can have globally.
They used this equation: BUSINESS = SPORT + ENTERTAINMENT with PHILANTHROPY, CSR and GREENING as side shows…to one where: BUSINESS = SPORT + ENTERTAINMENT + SUSTAINABILITY – which really sums up how we should be looking at this.
Gone are the days of patting the sick child on the head in hospital for a good photo opportunity – now, we can be part of establishing a better life for that child and many more in the same situation.
Or instead of writing a cheque for a village in Africa, go and see what they are really dealing with and get your hands dirty in the process.
At Apricot, we are continuing our work with the North Melbourne Football Club, creating a sensational CSR program that will differentiate them from the other clubs and ultimately, become leaders of the pack.
North Melbourne community embodies a wide variety of cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds. The work Apricot will do with the Kangaroos will tie them closer to the immediate community.
Joining up the recent partnership with World Vision to the community, both in North Melbourne and potentially Africa as well, will be vital to embracing The Kangaroos as game changers and begin to set them on the path for a huge program.
What we have discovered over the course of creating these programs for clients is about the massive affect it can have, locally, nationally and globally. With the right tools, knowledge and passion – it can really save lives.
The journey with CSR in sport is not one that has been broadcasted and is not commonly associated together, but significant impact they have already on the public makes CSR so much easier.
In a report funded by the UEFA Research Grant Program, Dr Geoff Walters and Richard Tacon discuss corporate social responsibility in European football and how CSR has not been reported on in the sporting industry in general until recently.
The role of sport in society has become more prominent and as sport organisations have become increasingly influential members of the global community. The concerns of transparency and accountability evident within the corporate world have transferred to sport. This has led some to suggest that sport organisations cannot ignore CSR and that they have to implement it.
Sport organisations have, over the last few decades, engaged with various CSR imperatives, including philanthropy, community involvement and both youth educational activities and health initiatives.
Much of the research they have done led them to compiling seven key aspects to utilising CSR in a sporting organisation.
- The popularity and global reach of sport can ensure that sport CSR has mass media distribution and communication power. That is, the prominence of sport within the media helps to promote and communicate CSR activities to a wide audience.
- Sport CSR has youth appeal: children are more likely to engage in a CSR program if it is attached to a sport organization or a sports personality.
- Sport CSR can be used to deliver positive health impacts through programs and initiatives designed around physical exercise.
- Sport CSR will invariably involve group participation and therefore aid social interaction.
- This can also lead to cultural understanding and integration.
- Particular sport activities may lead to enhanced environmental and sustainability awareness.
- Finally, participating in sport CSR activities can also provide immediate gratification benefits.
With these in mind, the process of creating a stand-out CSR program for the North Melbourne Kangaroos will be a challenge, but we are ready to get our hands dirty for this and potentially change some lives.