Community relations and engagement

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


All sporting organisations depend on a range of stakeholders spread across disparate geographies. The first idea that strikes us about community is that it is primarily local. However as some professional sporting organisations are known around the world, community is a term that can be extended to many regions and international communities. Sports organisations focus on these newer communities has led some to prioritise areas of potential lucre over traditional communities. Rein, Kotler and Shields (2006) stated that in an essentially crowded market place the importance of re-connecting with fans through engagement is vital to long-term success. By considering community needs as a central part of our business strategy the function of Sports Public Relations and Communications (SPRC) is to aid the organisation in reaching out and engaging the community to create positive relationships for the sport organisation.This chapter will discuss the importance of community to sports organisations and the vital role that SPRC plays; in doing so it will address the following areas. First the chapter will briefly examine the work of sporting organisations engaging in the community and how they are using these initiatives creates positive relations. The chapter will then consider the rise of ethical consumerism that is in tune with increasing corporate community activities, in particular Cause-Related Marketing (Cause-RM). This part will examine objectives, benefits and issues surrounding the use of Cause-RM with particular attention on initiatives with sporting organisations. Many of these sporting organisations have limited resources in which to operate the SPRC. The case study example will highlight the work of a UK based sporting charity and their efforts to use SPRC to communicate the community work they perform. Following the case the chapter will conclude with a brief discussion on the implications for the developments in the area of community relations and engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSport Public Relations and Communication
EditorsMaria Hopwood, Paul James Kitchin, James Skinner
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780080886114
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 24 Feb 2010


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