Bachelor of Arts
Communication and Media Studies
Director of the Honors Program
Lynn Sondag, MFA
Bradley Van Alstyne, PhD
Alison Howard, MA
Attendance at all levels of baseball is the lowest it has been in 15 years (Kessler, 2018). And with decreasing levels of and social capital, communities are losing trust and civic engagement (Putnam, 2000). Sports teams foster higher levels of trust within their communities (Walker & Kent, 2009). Corporate Social Responsibility provides a way to foster this trust through activities led by sports teams in a community. This includes players visiting schools, libraries, or hosting camps and clinics. This makes Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) much more effective with the inclusion of sports teams (Walker & Kent, 2009). Previous studies addressed the different strategies of CSR related to sport (Babiak & Wolfe, 2009) and how factors besides CSR can influence attendance at sporting events (Horowitz, 2007). This thesis examined to what extent employing CSR helps minor-league baseball teams attract support. The research employed a case study of three unaffiliated minor league baseball teams within the Pacific Association and how they used CSR in their communities. Content analysis was conducted on local newspapers and each team’s Instagram account. The research showed that while the number of CSR Instagram posts does not have a direct effect on attendance there is a relationship. The team with the highest level of CSR engagement had the highest attendance levels and the team with the lowest CSR engagement had the lowest attendance levels.
Blackman, Rachel, "Corporate Social Responsibility and Minor League Baseball: The Pacific Association and Community Engagement" (2019). Honors Theses. 48.