Title: 'Panthers on the prowl' community development foundation: the case of a professional sports organisation's hands-on involvement with community centred initiatives

Authors: Michelle O'Shea; Abel Duarte Alonso

Addresses: University of Western Sydney, School of Business, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia ' University of Western Sydney, School of Business, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia; School of Marketing Tourism and Leisure, Edith Cowan University, 100 Joondalup, Dr., Joondalup, 6027 WA, Australia

Abstract: To what extent do organisations directly invest in social capital and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives that are not necessarily aligned with their primary corporate strategy? Expanding from the social capital and CSR literature, this study examines the involvement of Penrith Panthers, a National Rugby League (NRL) organisation, in enhancing social capital through CSR initiatives. From the more common strategy of linking with the community through fundraising and donations, the club is operationalising its role in education, health, wellbeing and programmes aimed at assisting the local community. The findings illuminate how and why this professional sports organisation is connecting with and contributing to their local and surrounding communities. In response to consumer demand, professional sport organisations increasingly see themselves as more than commercial entities principally interested in financial returns. Sport organisations have the capacity to be key vehicles for human enrichment, social integration and community welfare.

Keywords: social capital; corporate social responsibility; CSR; professional sports organisations; community initiatives; Penrith Panthers; Western Sydney; Australia; community development; National Rugby League; NRL; human enrichment; social integration; community welfare.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSEI.2013.054157

International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 2013 Vol.2 No.2, pp.130 - 146

Received: 20 Oct 2012
Accepted: 28 Nov 2012

Published online: 25 May 2013 *

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