Suns News

Suns Announce Major Partnership
with Casino Arizona

(Left to right) Suns CEO Jerry Colangelo, Casino Arizona CEO Jon Jenkins, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community President Joni Ramos and Suns Vice Chairman Robert Sarver pose for a photo in the new Casino Arizona Pavilion.
Posted: May 9, 2005

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Suns and Casino Arizona have agreed to a multi-faceted, multi-year partnership that includes title sponsorship of the new Pavilion at America West Arena, as announced today by Suns chairman and chief executive officer Jerry Colangelo, Suns vice chairman and managing partner Robert Sarver and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community President Joni M. Ramos.

The agreement expands the existing marketing partnership that began in 2000 between the Suns and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, which owns and operates Casino Arizona.

The centerpiece of the agreement is the title sponsorship of the new Pavilion, now the Casino Arizona Pavilion. Fans entering the Casino Arizona Pavilion, which was completed just prior to the 2004-05 Suns season as part of the $70 million expansion project of AWA, will see Casino Arizona signage and their watermark logo on the “Great Wall” just above the 12’ x 20’ video screen. In addition, the watermark logo is also found on the Pavilion terrazzo floor, while a banner promoting the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is displayed on the wall next to Starbucks. The logo is also found on each door leading into the Casino Arizona Pavilion.

The comprehensive partnership also includes a number of other elements, including extensive in-arena signage. In addition, Casino Arizona will receive prominent television and radio advertising exposure on Suns games broadcast on UPN 45, FSN Arizona and the Suns flagship radio station NewsRadio 620 KTAR. The package also includes a season-long in-game promotion called the Casino Arizona Lucky 7’s Shootout, which is an on-court contest in which a fan has a chance to win $777 for making a free throw, $7,777 for hitting a three-point shot or $77,777 for nailing down a half-court shot.

“We take great pride in announcing this comprehensive partnership with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and Casino Arizona,” said Sarver. “It is a partnership that addresses the business goals of the Suns, America West Arena and this highly valued partner.

“We are most pleased that the partnership includes the naming of the Casino Arizona Pavilion, as it is a very prominent gathering spot for guests attending any arena event. A great night at the arena usually starts at the box office, which is located right in the heart of the Casino Arizona Pavilion. The Pavilion, however, is more than just a pre-event gathering spot. It is ideally suited to be booked for special events, having already hosted luncheons, business presentations and charity dinners. The opportunities for the Casino Arizona Pavilion are limitless.”

“This partnership is clearly a great marketing opportunity for our enterprise, Casino Arizona,” said Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community President Joni M. Ramos. “Our Community is proud that Casino Arizona is now one of the major sponsors of the Phoenix Suns. We think it’s a winning move for all of us. Most importantly, it provides our Community a great opportunity to promote education through a variety of outreach programs.”

Through the new partnership, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community will sponsor the Sunsational Student/Teacher Program. Each month during the regular season, one student and one teacher, selected through nominations from Community members, will be honored at a Suns home game. The winning student and teacher will be presented at center-court and have their photo taken with the Phoenix Suns Gorilla.

“We are very appreciative to have the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community partner with us in our community relations initiatives,” said Colangelo. “We share a common goal of improving the quality of life in our community, and programs like the Sunsational Student/Teacher Program help achieve this goal by supporting education and our youth.”

Another outreach component of the partnership includes the creation of the Phoenix Suns Academy. At the Academy, kids ages 16-18 from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community will be provided with life skills coaching and also how to apply lessons learned in school to the business world. Facilitated by trained professionals, the Academy will operate out of the America West Arena two days a week from January through March.

The partnership also involves the creation of an internship program, which will afford two college students from the Community the opportunity to work as interns for the Phoenix Suns/America West Arena.

The new ownership group of the Phoenix Suns, Suns Legacy Partners, is a combination of some of the most respected and financially successful organizations in the nation. As part of the new relationship with the Suns, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community will select individuals to participate in a mentor program in which they will learn under the tutelage of one of the organizations that comprises Suns Legacy Partners.