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Suns brighten fan experience with PayPal

The Phoenix Suns have become the latest NBA basketball club to agree a jersey sponsorship deal, stating that the partnership with global technology platform and digital payments firm PayPal will lead to the ultimate fan experience at Talking Stick Resort Arena and other facets of the organisation.

The Suns will also make PayPal Credit available for Suns’ SixthMan members to purchase season tickets. PayPal Here card readers will be integrated at point of sale for chip, swipe, and tap payments, and fans will be able to pay with their Venmo balance throughout the arena. Venmo is a peer-to-peer payment processor that PayPal owns.

The Suns said the global partnership will be built on elevating fan experiences through innovation. PayPal will be the Arizona team’s first-ever jersey patch partner starting in the 2018-19 regular season, which tips off on October 17.

Jersey sponsorships were approved by the NBA as part of a three-year pilot program that commenced with the 2017-18 season and PayPal’s logo will appear prominently on the front left of Suns jerseys, opposite the Nike logo.

The partnership will integrate PayPal services as a payment option into several touch points throughout the fan journey. PayPal will be a payment option at Talking Stick Resort Arena point of sale terminals and at the Suns Team Shop in the arena, while fans will be able to access PayPal through the Official Suns Mobile App.

Suns president and chief executive, Jason Rowley, said in a statement: “It was important for us to partner with an organisation that had a strong local presence in the Valley and demonstrated a shared commitment to positively impacting our community. Through this partnership, we’ll utilise PayPal’s leadership and expertise in technology and innovation to help create a better experience for our fans at home and around the globe.”

As part of the partnership, PayPal will also be designated the official payment partner of the Suns, women’s WNBA franchise the Phoenix Mercury and Spanish Segunda División football club Real Mallorca, which is also owned by Suns managing partner Robert Sarver.

Robert Clarkson, general manager of PayPal North America, told ESPN.com that payment by app or through a QR code scan would not only change the way people pay but will boost the game experience.

“With sports fans, every second counts,” Clarkson said. “There’s a sense of urgency. The goal is for payments to not take away from that urgency. When someone orders a beer and people have to pass the beer down the aisle and then the money back and forth, it involves 25 people and takes away from their experience.”

The Suns deal mean that only five of the NBA’s 30 teams remain without a jersey sponsor – the Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Image: Phoenix Suns