Only 15 years ago CSR had no role in the world of sport: today, however, sport represents a real industry and as such acts in the markets and in society. Sport, and sporting practice, in particular, contributes decisively to developing a person’s character, as well as his psychophysical and civic development, transmitting principles such as loyalty, friendship, sacrifice, teamwork, acceptance defeats, and respect from opponents.
The sports industry is characterized by symbolism, identifications, communities, and this makes it unique, for example, we talk about the fact that sport can truly be a “social elevator”, as there are hundreds of cases in which sports practice has really socially and economically elevated athletes; it is a necessarily meritocratic environment: a young talent can aspire to join the best clubs or teams; it is also an example of a multi-ethnic society, just think of the teams and their composition. Sport is the place of respect for the rules and decisions of referees; it can be a bridge between profit and non-profit: in short, the elements to be socially responsible in a conscious way are all there.
Bayern Munich’s social responsibility is analyzed because it is a Club that actively supports the territory in which it operates, Bavaria, a region where three major global players in the sports industry (Adidas, Puma, and Reebok) are based. Its stadium, the Allianz Arena, is an example of sustainable architecture. The system makes energy efficiency one of its strengths: the new LED lighting system allows a reduction in the level of energy consumed by about 60%, just as the air conditioning and heating systems of the water.
Sports Clubs have four responsibilities: they must generate profit and comply with the law; they must adhere to ethical principles and may have philanthropic responsibilities. The idea that sport has social functions is certainly not new. Proof of this is the fact that sport is conceived as a tool to achieve social benefits even in degraded areas.
Bayern Munich has developed an integrated corporate social responsibility strategy to respond to external pressures (sponsors, local authorities, media) and thanks to the simultaneous presence of internal resources (management, technical and sports staff) that does not hesitate to define “rare, precious and inimitable “.
Taking corporate social responsibility seriously offers important benefits in terms of competitiveness, image, reputation, motivation, trust, and legitimacy.
However, there remains an issue that is not sufficiently addressed by the Clubs, in particular the football ones: “Sports companies should pay more attention to the consequences of the misconduct of their teams, whether violent or determined to win at any price”.