PayPal extends Suns sponsorship through 2025-26
Apr 12, 2023, 8:03 AM
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PayPal, the jersey patch sponsor of the Phoenix Suns, has extended its partnership with the team through the 2025-26 season, the organizations announced Wednesday.
“We are incredibly excited about this new partnership with PayPal,” first-year Suns owner Mat Ishbia said in a release. “From day one I’ve said the Suns are focused on winning, fan experience and community impact. This deal delivers on all three.
“Together with (CEO and president) Dan Schulman and the PayPal team, we are going to make a real investment in the community and proudly wear their name as we continue building a world-class organization on and off the floor.”
PayPal had threatened to end its relationship with the Suns if Robert Sarver remained the owner after an investigation confirmed Sarver used racist and misogynistic language in the workplace, among other findings.
Ishbia replaced Sarver officially as owner in February.
In September 2022, the company said it would not renew its deal with the NBA team if Sarver remained Phoenix’s owner. PayPal still had this season on its contract, which it said it would see through.
Sarver was fined $10 million and suspended a season shortly before he decided to sell the team.
Schulman said then that 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 combating racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination,” 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.”
The company is the payment partner of the Suns, managing game ticketing, merchandise and concert ticket payments.
As part of the extended deal, PayPal will remain the jersey patch sponsor but increase its work with the Suns on supporting small businesses in Arizona. That includes a jersey giveback program to raise money for local nonprofits, amplifying Native American-owned small businesses and aiding in a financial literacy program to help “underserved communities,” according to the release.
“Our organizations share a commitment to the people of the Valley, and we are pleased to have a partner whose mission, vision and values align so closely with what we believe in as an organization,” Suns CEO Josh Bartelstein said in a release.
“We prioritize our fans, our customers, and our people in everything we do, with the goal of creating better experiences for everyone that we interact with at a game or purchasing environment.”
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.