The sports industry has been made distinct from traditional business for many reasons including its body of stakeholders and its position in popular media. For these reasons, corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts and the communication of them in professional sports is known to be addressed differently. The following research has been conducted in order to learn how well professional sports teams are doing to communicate CSR to the particular stakeholders who are also their social media followers. Sports teams' Twitter accounts were analyzed and tweets concerning CSR were identified. Findings suggested that only 3.94% of professional sports teams' tweets were related to CSR. It was also found that intrinsically, market size and on-field team performance do not affect CSR tweeting. When viewed together, however, it has been found that smaller market losing teams tweet more CSR than larger market losing teams while smaller market winning teams tweet less CSR than larger market winning teams. This finding lends insights into the strategic purposes of CSR in the professional sports industry. When small market sports teams do not have a successful season, they seem to restore their reputation via the CSR function more so than larger market teams in a similar situation do. Additionally, winning teams of the larger market tweet more CSR than smaller market winners. The conclusion is that, although relatively little CSR tweeting is done in professional sports, smaller market professional sports teams' CSR tweeting is spurred by poor performance, whereas larger market sports teams' CSR tweeting is spurred by winning.



College and Department

Fine Arts and Communications; Communications



Date Submitted


Document Type





CSR, corporate social responsibility, SSR, professional sports, social media, Twitter



Included in

Communication Commons