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WHAT ROLE CAN SPORTS PLAY IN CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY EFFORTS?

• Published on 31 Jul. 2015 • Category :Sport • Tags : 2015

WHAT ROLE CAN SPORTS PLAY IN CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY EFFORTS?

Powered by: Carol Cone, CEO, Carol Cone ON PURPOSE, United States

Abdulla Al-Abdulla, Director, Quality, Impact & Strategy, Reach Out to Asia, Qatar

Jason McDevitt, Director of Community Relations, LA Lakers, United States

Sandra de Castro Buffington, Founding Director, Global Media Center for Social Impact, UCLA, United States

Martha Saucedo, Executive Vice President, AEG, United States

The importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the world of business continues to grow rapidly.

But where does sports come into this changing phenomenon, and how can it be used for the greater good?

That was the question posed to the four-strong panel, and it was Jason McDevitt, Director of Community Relations at the LA Lakers, who stressed the need to pay back the local community, whose support was imperative to their own survival as a sporting entity.

“What we try to do is give back to the community to show them that their love and money is really well received and we appreciate it and we want to share that energy and affection back with the community,” he said.

He cited the Lakers’ Read to Achieve program, which has touched more than 30,000 students over the past 15 years, as a prime example of CSR in action.

AEG Executive Vice President Martha Saucedo also talked of the impact sports entities could have on education.

“We understand the power that both sports and music can have on the lives of kids,” she said.

She went on to describe her company’s scheme whereby children receive tickets to a music festival if they can boast a perfect attendance record at school, which has enjoyed visible results.

But the panel also shared in the difficulties facing CSR, agreeing that not enough was being done to harness the power created by the waves of volunteers willing to give up their time for good causes.

Abdulla Al-Abdulla, Director of Quality, Impact & Strategy at Reach Out to Asia, talked of his desire to educate sponsors on the need for sustainability in their projects rather than being just a flash in the pan.

“We try to educate our corporate partners about why CSR is important and try to not just let them be a shopping donor,” he said.

Sandra de Castro Buffington, Founding Director of Global Media Center for Social Impact, claimed that the biggest challenge she faced was finding the people on the ground who could truly make a difference and help the implementation of CSR.

 “We try to identify partners, grass roots organizations, amazing, real people with real stories and experts on different social justice topics,” she said.

Without such people, she continued, the impact of CSR could be limited – despite the best of intentions.


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