How Major League Baseball Teams Are Demonstrating Corporate Social Responsibility on Instagram

Authors: Kevin Hull & Joon Kyoung Kim

Corresponding Author:
Kevin Hull, Ph.D.
University of South Carolina
800 Sumter Street
Columbia, SC 29208
khull@sc.edu
803-777-4746

Kevin Hull (Ph.D., University of Florida) is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of South Carolina. Joon Kyoung Kim (M.A., Syracuse University) is a doctoral student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina.

How Major League Baseball Teams Are Demonstrating Corporate Social Responsibility on Instagram

ABSTRACT
For decades, professional sports teams have worked with local and national charitable groups. These efforts are frequently reported on by the media, but teams now have a chance to showcase their charity work themselves. Through Instagram, teams can post photos and videos about their charity directly to their timeline. This exploratory research study examined how Major League Baseball teams were using Instagram to demonstrate their charitable efforts. A content analysis of 50 posts from every team (N = 1,500) was conducted, with the post content, hashtags used, and fan response analyzed. Findings demonstrated that teams were posting few photos and videos that showcase their charitable work. Additional examination revealed that fans were less apt to like and comment on charitable posts when compared to other types of posts. Implications regarding how professional sports teams should be using Instagram to showcase their charity work are discussed.

Keywords: charity, corporate social responsibility, Instagram, Major League Baseball

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