Gridiron Giving Helps Rebuild Detroit

5/23/14

The Detroit Lions' new model of philanthropy and community engagement may prove to be a touchdown for the city of Detroit.

A new case study of corporate social responsibility in sport by University of Michigan researchers uses the Lions as an exemplar of a professional sports team reinventing its charitable giving and community relations approach in hopes of making a bigger impact on the community.

In 2012, the Lions created the "Living for the City" campaign — a new model of corporate philanthropy that emphasizes deeper relationships with a small core group of community nonprofits and organizations, say Kathryn Heinze, assistant professor of Sport Management, and Sara Soderstrom, assistant professor of Organizational Studies and Program in the Environment.

Corporate social responsibility has increasingly played a large role in professional sports, but the Lions' revamped giving strategy differs from traditional charitable giving among professional sports in several key ways, Heinze says.

Typically, teams practice broad philanthropy — they divvy up a large pot of money among many different organizations with different missions. With a few exceptions, the team's involvement with the nonprofit usually ends there, Heinze says. (More)

Written by Laura Bailey for Michigan News.

Source: 

 University Record

Link 

University Record article