Phoenix Suns receive NBA Changemaker of the Year Award for 2021-22

Jul 16, 2022, 4:00 PM

Fans arrive to Footprint Center before Game Five of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs...

Fans arrive to Footprint Center before Game Five of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs between the Phoenix Suns and the New Orleans Pelicans on April 26, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns on Wednesday were given the NBA Changemaker of the Year Award for 2021-22 for their sustainability-focused partnership with Footprint.

The NBA handed out team partnership awards at the annual team presidents meeting in Las Vegas. The Changemaker Award recognizes the best new partnership with an emphasis on an innovative approach.

The winners were selected by NBA executives as well as one representative from all 30 teams in the league.

“Partnering with Footprint has enhanced the Suns’ efforts in so many ways. It’s giving us focus and allowing us to evangelize our commitment to sustainability beyond just our goals and Footprint’s goals,” said Dan Costello, Suns executive vice president and chief revenue officer, in a press release.

“We’re honored to be recognized with the league’s Changemaker of the Year Award and look forward to growing this partnership’s impact on the community and the planet by bringing other businesses and fans on this journey to reducing single-use plastic.”

Footprint is a global materials science technology company based in Gilbert that focuses on reducing single-use plastics.

The Suns announced the company would take over the naming rights of the arena in July 2021 with “a commitment to innovation and creating an immersive living laboratory to solve some of the industry’s sustainability challenges.” The arena aims to be a center of sustainability by moving toward a plastic-free arena, the press release said.

This is the second time the Suns have been awarded the NBA Changemaker of the Year Award after receiving it in 2018-19 for their partnership with PayPal when the award first debuted. The award was not given out the last two seasons (2019-21), making Phoenix the only recipient of the award in its history.

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