Saying what you mean and meaning what you say: A discourse analysis with Special Olympics Canada's corporate sponsors


Many corporate sponsors of not-for-profit organizations are well intentioned but what does their language say about their perspectives and commitment to the social issues that they choose to tackle? This secondary analysis aims to explore just that. Fourteen corporate sponsors (ten women) of Special Olympics Canada were interviewed (50 – 90 minutes) regarding their partnership. From social constructionist and critical disability lenses, the authors conducted a discourse analysis. Results highlight the personal and professional identities that the sponsors hold, and the ways in which they embody their perspectives on sport, athletes, and disability (specifically, intellectual disability). Implications of this work highlight the potential for growth on both personal and professional levels, the need for further education by Special Olympics Canada for their corporate sponsors, and challenges other not-for-profit organizations to consider how their partnerships evoke lasting change.