"Sustainability and Social Responsibility in Sports industry" with José María García Tomás

The Human Resources Director of the Real Madrid C.F talked to BITS Hochschule students

On Tuesday 4th April, José María García Tomás, Human Resources Director of the Real Madrid C.F, gave a talk on the importance of sustainability and social responsibility in Sports industry to the BITS Hochschule students. 

He began by expressing how sport organisations are so appreciated that we consider its worth preventing and avoiding their disappearance. We discussed primarily how the disappearance of sports organisations leads not only to the crushing of athletes dreams but also of the supporters passion and more worryingly, employees wages worldwide would suffer massively.

García Tomás explained how sustainability means 'risk prevention to ensure organisational survival based on balanced relationships with key actors with the whole community'. More importantly, this sustainability is vital in making a company a reputable organisation. Fighting against referee bribing, illegal betting and match fixing, are major issues when it comes to corruption in sports, especially football. The afore discussed aspect of sustainability consists of three main sections: economic soundness, environmental balance, social responsibility. Tomas introduced a technical term 'The triple bottom line' which defines the transparency of economic account, care of environment, support and respect for community within sport. A term he emphasised many sport organisations e.g. IOC, FIFA, use is the 'Triple P'  which stands for profit planet and people. 

The afore mentioned 'triple bottom line' is the standard for the annual report of the most advanced companies which are listed in stock exchange and included the most demanding stock indexes under close supervision.

How the environment is impacted due to sport organisation decisions was discussed as well

García Tomás explained how sport organisations should not focus on the superficial element of sport, which involves looking through the media; not only is it an economic phenomenon, it's also environmental and social. There is a continuous ethical code used at Real Madrid Football Club: they convince them that the element of competing is much more important than winning or losing. Indeed, La Liga has a specific department that deals with corruption.

The department emphasise how the most important action when scandal is made, is ultimately prevention, as to reduce chances of threats developing. Stock exchange companies are very afraid of corruption because they do not want their reputation ruined. Essentially, the more sustainable a company is, the more that it's able to cope with scandal. More recently, reports on quality of sport organisations include exposures of economic corruption  e.g. If a company are polluting. This environmental element is getting more attention since the 16th century.

The next part of the lecture dealt with the phenomenon of Corporate social responsibility (CSR). The lecturer explained how it is not a marketing campaign, nor is it a fashion of managing, nor is it a charity initiative. Instead, it is a deep change in the way we manage sport organisations.  constitutes a new and different approach to corporate strategy which means long term orientation and involving all the organisation in the pursuit of its mission. Tomas explained how shareholders will strop investing e.g. In formula one , if they do not have a good reputation for their environment sustainability. In this way, sustainability is crucial; if a company has a 'bad' CSR, they cannot survive long term. The directors and employees in all departments have to be involved in the CSR. Finally, he explained the role of Law in sport organisations' CSR, wherein companies must focus on regulating organisational behaviour beyond legal compliance.

The students from BITS Hochschule are going to spend some months at Real Madrid Graduated School-Universidad Europea, where they will learn about Sports Industry in our country from the best professionals in the field.