Corporate Social Responsibility, commonly known as CSR, is a corporation’s initiative to assess and take responsibility for the company’s effects on environmental and social wellbeing. The best CSR plans are when there is shared value, and when the initiatives match the company’s core competency. Shared value is when the giver (the company) benefits as much as the receiver. The company’s core competencies are the main strengths or strategic advantages of the company.
A car company’s CSR involves the environment, whereas a book company focuses on improving literacy, especially among children. For sports organizations, there is no obvious choice of CSR or core competency, so they have more of an option when it comes to CSR. An option could involve kids participating in sports and exercise to combat childhood obesity. A main core competency of sports teams is to entertain their fans and make them smile. This is the core competency the Chicago Blackhawks, of the National Hockey League, choose to focus on as their CSR.
In 2008, the Blackhawks started the ‘One Goal’ campaign in conjunction with Ogilvy & Mather. The mission of the ‘One Goal’ campaign is to showcase the personality of the players as well as stating the overall goal of the Blackhawks organization. While the campaign started out to showcase the team, it turned into helping their fans achieve their own goals.
The organization started the “What’s Your Goal” campaign where they ask their fans what their goals are. The campaign has gained critical praise from not only the fans, but from the entire sports community. The Blackhawks have started the trend of teams interacting more with their communities.
Two of the best “What’s Your Goal” campaign videos involve Ben and Cammy. Ben was born with a condition which makes it difficult to use his arms and legs. Cammy was born unable to walk or speak. Both Ben’s and Cammy’s goals were to meet their favorite Blackhawks players. In all the “What’s Your Goal” videos the Blackhawks go above and beyond what they are asked (see videos below).
Their CSR campaign will always be a great fall back in case something negative happens in their organization. It’s not only important for companies to have CSR, but to treat it as a brilliant PR tool.