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Grassroots football club stakeholders' sponsorship: the role of happiness and shared values

Hindmarsh, M, Ikramullah, A, Ruiz-Alba, JL and López-Tenorio, PJ (2023) Grassroots football club stakeholders' sponsorship: the role of happiness and shared values. Management Decision. ISSN 0025-1747

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Purpose: This research serves to determine causal configurations of corporate social responsibility (CSR) conditions that best influences grassroots football club stakeholders to meet a sponsor's goals through promotional activity. Design/methodology/approach: The research uses a case study of the Essex Alliance League, a local amateur football league in England. Firstly, semi-structured interviews were held with multiple stakeholders to understand the ecosystem of grassroots football. From here, further semi-structured interviews were held with club sponsors to identify the conditions of CSR. This allowed the research to then issue a survey from which results were analysed and discussed using fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA). Findings: The ecosystem of grassroots football is formed by a myriad of stakeholders operating at a national level, all the way to more local governance structures within which the business-club relationship exists. Sponsors identified three main conditions of CSR: shared values, self-congruity, and happiness. However, following fsQCA, two pathways were found: (1) presence of shared values, and (2) presence of happiness with the absence of self-congruity. Practical implications: For practitioners, adaptations can be made for clubs to attract and maintain sponsorship as businesses seek to use grassroots sport as a channel for their own CSR objectives. To attract long term sponsorship, club managers are recommended to maintain long-term relationships with business owners especially in relation to personal values, fit, and happiness. As such, the responsibility of the club to ensure its stakeholders engage in promotional activity on behalf of their sponsor will help in maximising the financial value over multiple seasons. Originality/value: Where fertile ground for academic analysis in grassroots football is present, this research investigates CSR activity at this level of football, where most research is more concerned with professional levels of the game. Furthermore, this research reaches into the sport ecosystem through an understanding of co-created values between organisations in this exchange of shared values to meet common objectives.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact permissions@emerald.com
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1503 Business and Management; 1505 Marketing; 2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields; Business & Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5410 Marketing. Distribution of Products
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports
Divisions: Business & Management (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Emerald
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2023 10:56
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2023 11:00
DOI or ID number: 10.1108/MD-02-2023-0281
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20795
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