Case study: Phoenix Suns

Mar 08 2021 | PayPal Editorial Staff

How a sophisticated partnership between the Suns and PayPal is taking the omni-channel to a new level.

So Much Case Study: More Than Meets the Eye


How PayPal & the Suns have disrupted the status quo.

You may think “basketball” when you think of the Phoenix Suns, much as you may think “payments” when you think of PayPal. However, PayPal and the Phoenix Suns have eclipsed the jersey patch and are ultimately re-writing the playbook on innovating with technology to elevate the fan experience. Not just for the season ticket holder, but for the single visit, concert attendee as well.
Their stats have been so impressive that the Suns were formally recognized as NBA’s Changemaker of the Year in 2019 for their PayPal partnership and trailblazing, fan-centric model. “It’s an honor to be recognized amongst our peers for our approach to business operations,” said Jason Rowley, Phoenix Suns President & CEO. “It took teamwork throughout the entire Suns organization to help bring our PayPal partnership to life in new and meaningful ways.”

PayPal & the Phoenix Suns: An unparalleled partnership.

Just before tip-off of the 2018-2019 season, PayPal and the Phoenix Suns announced a groundbreaking, global partnership with an ambitious vision to revolutionize the live event, fan experience. To date, the dynamic partnership boasts one of the deepest benches in commerce, with an active roster including Venmo, Braintree, PayPal Credit, Payouts and Simility, better known together as the PayPal Commerce Platform (PPCP).
The partnership also strategically positioned the Suns to leverage the 80% of fans who were already using PayPal and elevate their event experience by utilizing an entirely new kind of omnichannel payments processing for the arena. Making its rookie debut October 2019, an all-star wallet integration for the Suns app gave fans the ability to seamlessly take control of their live event experience, all from the convenience of their smartphone.
The PayPal Commerce Platform (PPCP) powered wallet has been a slam dunk for event attendees. Don’t have cash? Pay securely with your app wallet for everything from your favorite tee shirt to concession essentials and more. Lines too long? Breeze through dedicated express lanes just for app users. Can’t make it to the game? Seamlessly transfer loyalty points to clients and coworkers. The frictionless platform spans ticketing, concessions, merchandise, and even internal departments, so you can conveniently pay for all your venue needs. And coming soon, you will not even have to leave your seat. The ultimate goal is to enable a fully cashless arena
with QR codes and the ultimate digitization of cash to the wallet.
During the abbreviated 2019-2020 season of just 35 events, more than 15,000 fans began taking advantage of the Suns wallet accumulating nearly $300,000 in transactions.


Braintree is a service of PayPal. ©2020 PayPal, Inc. All rights reserved. PayPal and the PayPal logo are registered trademarks of PayPal, Inc. Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. *Data based on the business’s own internal data from 2020. Results may not be typical and may vary substantially by business.

The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent business, tax, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

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