Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Marketing and Hospitality, Resort and Tourism Management


College of Business

First Advisor

Carol Megehee


In today's competitive business climate, firms must find new and innovative ways to differentiate their brand from others in their field. American Express Credit Card Company discovered such a marketing tool in 1981 when they sponsored the Statue of Liberty Restoration Project by donating a predetermined percentage of their card sales. The purpose of the sponsorship was twofold: American Express wished to increase card usage as well as support a cause to gain an overall better corporate image. In the end, American Express experienced a 28% increase in card usage and was able to donate $1.7 million to the Statue of Liberty restoration effort. American Express also registered the trademark phrase "cause related marketing" at this time. Since its inception, cause-related marketing has become increasingly popular and more and more corporations have decided to not only participate in corporate philanthropy (monetary donations to a chosen organization) but to also swing some efforts into cause-related marketing. A notable difference between corporate philanthropy and cause related marketing is that CRM is more beneficial to both parties, whereas corporate philanthropy is less beneficial to both the corporation as well as the organizations. CRM not only provides funding for an organization but also awareness of it. Furthermore, corporations usually receive some form of increased profit as well as a more positive brand image (Lee, Jaedock, and Ferreira 2011). The popularity has since extended beyond the traditional corporate world and has become prevalent in professional sports as a marketing and public relations tool as well. What are the effects, if any, of a professional sports team or league's involvement in a cause-related marketing campaign? The thesis statement for this paper is that professional sports teams strengthen fan loyalty and increase overall image through involvement in cause-related marketing campaigns. This will be supported by information found in previous studies about cause-related marketing campaigns and how they were beneficial to corporations that engaged in such campaigns.

Included in

Marketing Commons