PayPal, Suns’ jersey patch sponsor, won’t renew if Sarver remains
Digital financial service company PayPal said it will not renew its sponsorship with the Phoenix Suns if the NBA team’s owner, Robert Sarver, remains in place.
PayPal owns advertising space on the Suns’ jerseys, among other branding opportunities with the team. It will remain a sponsor for this upcoming year despite CEO and president Dan Schulman citing Sarver’s behavior as a reason to not renew as the current contract ends following the 2022-23 season.
Schulman released the statement Friday after learning of the conclusions from the investigation into Sarver that confirmed he used racist and misogynistic language in the workplace, among other findings.
The NBA on Tuesday suspended Sarver one year and fined him $10 million.
Schulman said the company “strongly reject(s) the conduct of Robert Sarver” but will continue supporting other Suns leaders, including head coach Monty Williams, general manager James Jones, assistant general manager Morgan Cato, and senior vice president of people and culture Kim Corbitt.
“PayPal is a values-driven company and has a strong record of combatting racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination,” said PayPal CEO and president Dan Schulman in a statement. “We have reviewed the report of the NBA league’s independent investigation into Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver and have found his conduct unacceptable and in conflict with our values.
“PayPal’s sponsorship with the Suns is set to expire at the end of the current season. In light of the findings of the NBA’s investigation, we will not renew our sponsorship should Robert Sarver remain involved with the Suns organization, after serving his suspension.”
PayPal has held the advertising space on the Suns’ jerseys since an announcement in October 2018.
The NBA in the 2017-18 season opened the possibility for the first time for teams to carry a 2.5-inch-by-2.5-inch ad patch on the left shoulder of all NBA jerseys, opposite of the Nike logo on the right shoulder.
PayPal labeled itself upon the 2018 agreement as the “Official Payment Partner” of the Phoenix Suns, Mercury and Real Club Deportivo Mallorca, the Spanish soccer team also owned by Sarver.