Phoenix Suns have recently been gaining a lot of attention thanks to their NBA finals run. The Suns have also taken advantage of this recent attention and have been involved in a lot of business dealings in the post-NBA season. US private equity firm Dyal HomeCourt Partners recently acquired a minority stake in the Suns, in a deal that values the team at $1.55bn. Dyal HomeCourt purchased less than five percent of the Suns and may acquire a bigger stake over time. Several team investors sold portions of their holdings to facilitate the move.
The Phoenix Suns’ home venue will now be known as Footprint Center following a naming rights deal between the National Basketball Association team and Arizona-based environmental-based tech company Footprint. The deal comes with the Suns in the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993. The series with the Milwaukee Bucks is currently 3-2 in favour of the bucks. The Bucks will host Game 6 of the series on July 20.
The agreement will see the 18,000-seater venue renamed Footprint Center, ending the arena’s search for a new naming rights partner after Talking Stick Resort announced in November that it would not be renewing its deal.
The partnership will include naming rights and product integration and will amplify awareness and use of plant-based fibre alternatives to plastic and build toward a carbon-neutral, plastic-free arena. Footprint Center will also feature recycling and compost containers, not trash cans, to make sure the recycling loop is complete.
“We’re going to innovate and transform how sports venues operate,” Robert Sarver, Suns managing partner, told CNBC. “The idea is Footprint will create an innovation lab for us within our arena, and then we can take that and get other arenas throughout the world interested in doing the same thing.”
The Footprint Center logo was seen on the court virtually during ABC’s broadcast of the NBA Finals Game 5 on July 17. Having introduced virtual on-court signage at its quarantined bubble tournament in Orlando, Florida, last summer, the NBA has brought in four of its commercial partners to make up the virtual ad inventory during this year’s Finals between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks.