Title: Professional athletes and charitable foundations: an exploratory investigation

Authors: Scott Tainsky, Kathy Babiak

Addresses: Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, University of Illinois, 104 Huff Hall, MC-584, 1206 South Fourth Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6940, USA. ' School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, 1402 Washington Heights, #2120, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-2013, USA

Abstract: Sport and philanthropy are becoming entwined. As professional athletes garner increasing attention beyond what they do on the field of play, a corresponding stakeholder expectation of athletes| charitable involvement has followed. By identifying trends in players who have private charities, we can evaluate the extent to which philanthropy promotes benefits to the player, team and league. Using the lenses of pro-social behaviour and corporate social responsibility, the purpose of this research is twofold. First, we provide an empirical analysis to profile athletes with charitable foundations, finding a connection between firms and athletes engaging in charitable behaviours. Second, we provide a theoretical framework for understanding professional athletes| connection to participate in socially responsible behaviour including the potential impact of their work on the firms they represent. Our regression analysis suggests older, higher paid athletes are more likely to create foundations and association with a charitable team also predicts athlete philanthropy.

Keywords: professional athletes; charity; athlete philanthropy; player philanthropy; pro-social behaviour; corporate social responsibility; CSR; charitable foundations; charitable involvement; private charities; player charities; athlete charities.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2011.041568

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2011 Vol.9 No.3/4, pp.133 - 153

Available online: 26 Jul 2011 *

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