PayPal has signed a multi-year deal to become the official payment partner of the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, and Spanish soccer team Real Club Deportiva Mallorca. The deal gives fans the option to pay for Suns merchandise and tickets through PayPal and Venmo via integration in the Suns mobile app.
Both the Suns and Mercury play their home games at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix. RCD Mallorca is owned by Suns managing partner Robert Sarver, which explains its inclusion in the deal. Specific terms of the sponsorship were not announced.
“PayPal will be a payment option at Talking Stick Resort Arena point of sale terminals and at the Suns Team Shop in the arena, while fans will be able to access PayPal through the Official Suns Mobile App,” an official Suns press release states. “The Suns will also make PayPal Credit available for Suns’ SixthMan members to purchase season tickets. PayPal Here card readers will be integrated at point of sale for chip, swipe, and tap payments, and fans will be able to pay with their Venmo balance throughout the arena.”
As part of the deal, the PayPal logo will appear on the front left of Suns jerseys for the 2018/19 NBA season. PayPal has operated a technology center in nearby Scottsdale, Arizona since 2006. In 2013, PayPal acquired ownership of Braintree, the parent company of Venmo, for $800 million.
“In an increasingly digital and mobile world, there’s no better teammate for this extensive partnership than an innovative industry leader like PayPal,” said Suns President and Chief Executive Officer Jason Rowley in the press release. “Through this partnership, we’ll utilize PayPal’s leadership and expertise in technology and innovation to help create a better experience for our fans at home and around the globe.”
Venmo blends a mobile payment service with social interaction. User’s see a social media-like newsfeed and can share transactions with friends, and like other’s posts. The company reported $14.2 billion in transaction volume during the second quarter of 2018, representing a 78 percent year-on-year increase. Over a 12-month period, Venmo also reported $46 billion in transaction volume. “Venmo” is becoming a common verb in the technology augmented world, and the Suns appear to be ahead of the curve by integrating the service with their mobile app to facilitate payments. This is similar to what Venmo did through its partnership with Uber.