The Suns have signed an arena naming-rights deal with plant-based engineering company Footprint ahead of Saturday's Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the Gilbert, Ariz.-based company reportedly was seeking a minimum 10-year deal worth $9M annually. The venue will be called Footprint Center. Innovative Partnerships Group represented the Suns in the deal. Footprint develops and manufactures biodegradable and recyclable technologies and employs more than 1,200 people.
The Suns facility opened in '92 as America West Arena and has since had various names, including US Airways Center, Talking Stick Resort Arena and PHX Arena. More recently, it has been called Phoenix Suns Arena. The facility is undergoing a $230M renovation to be completed before the start of next season. The most recent NBA naming-rights deal was for the Heat’s FTX Arena, which was signed in March and valued at $135M over 19 years, for an annual average of $7.1M.
The Suns deal is another sign that sustainability has become an important sponsorship category. Last June, Amazon purchased rights for the home of the NHL’s new Seattle Kraken, calling it Climate Pledge Arena. Last October, Ball Corp. bought naming rights to the Denver arena which houses the Nuggets and Avalanche, looking to push its aluminum products as a environmentally friendly alternative to plastic. "The profile and scale of a naming-rights partnership enables brands to drive purpose driven initiatives like sustainability,'' said Peter Stern, whose agency, The Strategic Agency, handled the Denver deal and activation for Ball Corp.
Republished from SBJ.com: https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Daily/Closing-Bell/2021/07/16/Suns.aspx