Suns and PayPal Team Up to Elevate Overall Fan Experience

by Cody Cunningham

The Phoenix Suns and PayPal announced on Tuesday a new innovative partnership that will ultimately elevate the overall fan experience.

It all starts with the patch. PayPal became the first-ever patch partner of the Phoenix Suns as their logo will now be displayed on the team’s uniforms.

“The patch itself obviously gives us a great presence on a great team,” General Manager of PayPal North America Robert Clarkson said. “It’s always nice to attach yourself to a star that’s rising and clearly that was the case here.”

For Clarkson though, this was more than just a patch on a jersey.

“To me the patch signifies that there is a partnership, but the actual experience of the partnership itself should be felt first by the consumer and the fan,” Clarkson said. “We want the fans to have the best experience possible.”

The two sides are teaming up to give fans what they want most: to be able to watch the game. A payment process that will allow for shorter lines and frictionless purchases will allow fans to order merchandise and concessions right from their seat without missing any action on the court.

“To turn a 15-minute line into a 15-second line,” Clarkson said. “Sports is one of the few areas where unlike in other retail experiences, it doesn’t stop when I stop. When you’re talking about a game of seconds, missing one sometimes is missing a major part of the game.”

Not only will this revolutionize the overall game experience, but it will also change the way merchandise and tickets are purchased as well. 

“The ability for SixthMan Members to utilize PayPal Credit to purchase their season ticket packages, providing another payment option for people, is something we saw a lot of value in,” Suns President and Chief Executive Officer Jason Rowley said.

It wasn’t just about finding any partner for the Suns, but instead finding the right partner who shared a similar vision and values as the organization.

“For us to be able to identify a partner that sets us up for success in that new digital world was obviously very important to us,” Rowley said. “We couldn’t have asked to find a more like-minded partner in that regard.” 

From the Suns connecting with their fans and generating excitement to PayPal’s forward thinking digital platform, the two brands will work together to create a first-of-its-kind fan experience.

“The innovation piece is part of our core values,” Rowley said. “Heading into the future, we want to continue to innovate and continue to create better ways to connect the fans to both of our brands.” 

PayPal’s local ties help the company connect with Arizona’s original sports franchise as the two look to make an impact throughout the Valley.

“While we have people all over the world, we have a significant presence in Arizona,” Clarkson said. “It was important for us to work with a team where we had a significant presence.”

However, this is much more than just a local partnership. PayPal becomes the Official Payment Partner of the Suns, Phoenix Mercury and Real Club Deportivo Mallorca as the partnership reaches a global level.

“You think about our own roster,” Rowley said. “We have players from Croatia and France and a coach from Serbia and a first round draft pick from the Bahamas. Being able to allow a kid in any one of those areas to make a purchase that connects them with the Suns brand, connects them with the PayPal brand or the Venmo brand is obviously a very exciting thing to think about.”

The final step is putting it all into play. The Suns and PayPal are working as teammates to integrate Paypal payment options throughout Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Suns organization is set to rise on and off the court as the 2018-19 season begins. 

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