Social Impact from CTBC’s Sponsorship of Professional Baseball
CTBC is a naming sponsor of the Brothers professional baseball team, which is one of the original teams created in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) and just recently marked its fifth anniversary in its current form as the “Chinatrust Brothers”. Since 2014, CTBC have been involved in many innovations and transformations in terms of the resources it devote to baseball teams, players, logistics team members, tangible and intangible services and facilities, and operating strategies and policies. In particular, some of our noteworthy accomplishments include: establishing and improving tangible and intangible facilities and services at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium and Pingtung CTBC Charity Park, greatly increasing player salaries and benefits, expanding the size and scope of our logistics team, and helping organize a diverse range of daylong themed events and related merchandise. In addition to its steadfast support for children in rural areas and sponsoring baseball teams, CTBC places a special emphasis on professional baseball players serving as societal role models and has tied the role of professional baseball players into the company’s five major strategies for charitable action as part of its commitment to corporate social responsibility. In turn, CTBC has extended the impact of professional baseball league to reach disadvantaged schoolchildren who live in Taiwan’s rural areas and who love baseball, underscoring our commitment to “achieving big things through grassroots support”.
The present study adopts the Social Return on Investment (SROI) methodology to assess, from the perspective of stakeholders, the social impact of CTBC’s sponsorship of the Chinatrust Brothers baseball team during the period from 2014–2017. Through various processes including interviews and questionnaires, we discovered that the company’s patronage of professional baseball not only increased players’ professional competitiveness and augmented their professional careers, but also yielded various “soft” results such as enhancing their sense of belonging, reducing financial pressures, strengthening family bonds, and more. Results such increased quality of life among coaches and other logistics team members as well as increased sense of accomplishment and self-confidence were also noted. Meanwhile, CTBC’s involvement also encouraged baseball fans to become even more passionate about professional baseball and share in various benefits, such as improving interpersonal relationships, reducing stress levels, and engendering a sense of belonging. In addition, students who participate in charitable activities such as the CTBC Youth Baseball Project and the Black Leopard High School Baseball Program are able to learn from professional league players who serve as excellent role models, thus instilling in them positive values and various changes such as gaining a sense of identity.
After compiling all of the results described above and comparing them to the amounts of money invested, we discovered that, in the wake of CTBC assuming sponsorship of the Brothers baseball team, we have been able to produce approximately NT$17.59 in social value for every NT$1 spent, with the sensitivity of results falling between 2.08-22.69. We also arranged discussions between executives of CTBC and the baseball team concerning these results and stakeholder feedback gleaned from the study, which we used to formulate directions for improvement and further optimization. Our hope is to combine the joint efforts of the company’s participating units to use professional baseball as a means to create a maximum positive impact not only for baseball in Taiwan, but for society as a whole.