Revisiting organizational identity and social responsibility in professional football clubs: the case of Bayern Munich and the Qatar sponsorship

David Martin Herold, C. Keith Harrison, Scott Bukstein

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung

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A perceived misalignment between socially responsible fans and football club management has recently led to a major crisis during the annual meeting in 2021 of Bayern Munich, one of the largest professional football teams in Europe. In an unprecedented scenario, Bayern Munich fans demanded that management drop one of its largest sponsors due to alleged violation of human rights. The goal of this paper is to examine this particular phenomenon, as it not only demonstrates a discrepancy between the social organizational identity and its image, but more importantly, how it impacts legitimation strategies and the fans' loyalty attitudes towards the club.

Using the underlying concepts of legitimacy and loyalty, this conceptual model paper proposes two frameworks for social responsibility in professional football clubs: (1) analyzing how the (mis-)alignment between organizational identity and image impacts fan loyalty and (2) depicting four different types of social responsibility strategies to align organizational identity and image.

The authors identify various theoretical concepts that influence organizational identity and image in and for social responsibility and combine the two critical concepts of legitimacy and loyalty to categorize the social responsibility strategies for professional football clubs.

Both frameworks advance the understanding of the decision-making behind social responsibility strategies and also synthesize the current literature to offer conceptual clarity regarding the varied implications and outcomes linked to the misalignment between organizational identity and image.
FachzeitschriftInternational Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2022

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