A two-year-old effort by the NBA Boston Celtics to attract new corporate partners by offering sponsorship packages tied to corporate social responsibility and charitable giving is paying off.

The team has secured two new sponsors this year that are using their partnerships solely as a community outreach play: medical device manufacturer Covidien plc and technology giant /military contractor Raytheon Co.

“This is a first for us,” said Ted Dalton, the team’s vice president of corporate partnerships and business development. “Many of our partners have had charitable components in their packages, but this is the first time we have worked with companies strictly from a cause perspective.”

The deals also mark the first time the Celtics have worked with companies in the medical device and military contractor categories, he added.

Covidien, which last year signed first-time ties with the MLB Boston Red Sox, NFL New England Patriots and NHL Boston Bruins, will support the Celtics’ youth outreach efforts that promote healthy eating and exercise, while Raytheon will assist the team with installing a computer lab at an inner-city school.

Acknowledging the growing overlap between corporate responsibility activities and marketing-driven sponsorships, in 2008 the Celtics organization incorporated its community relations area into its corporate partnerships department.

The integrated approach provides a one-stop sales solution when pitching companies interested in building a corporate social responsibility component into a package, or working with existing sponsors that want to expand their partnership with community relations or charitable components, Dalton said.

“We have a close working relationship with our CR department. That’s been a big advantage for us when responding to companies that are proactively looking for CR programs, or us going out and pushing that agenda.”

It is not surprising that those efforts have come to fruition this year, said Dalton, pointing to IEG SR projections calling for a 6.1 percent increase in cause sponsorship spending in 2010, a higher rate of growth than corporate spending on sports, arts, entertainment and all other types of properties.

“We have certainly seen an increase in cause related marketing, and we are seeing the benefit of having our two groups work so closely together.”

The effort also has helped lift the Celtics’ overall sponsorship revenue. For the 2010/11 season just underway, the team has posted a roughly 13 percent increase in revenue over 2009/10, Dalton said. That increase follows a 20 percent rise last year.

In addition to Covidien and Raytheon, the Celtics have added roughly 10 other new partners this year, including Bob’s Discount Furniture, LLC; asset manager Old Mutual (US) Holdings, Inc.; PC Connection, Inc.; and Sentient Flight Group, LLC.