footprint center exterior
Source: Sons Legacy Partners and Footprint
Phoenix Suns has a new area name, the parties announced Friday, after agreeing terms with engineering company Footprint. The Downtown Phoenix complex will be called the Footprint Center.
Footprint is an eco-based tech company that wants to eliminate single-use plastic. The Arizona-based firm develops and manufactures plant-based packaging products and has been recognized on the 2021 CNBC Disruptor 50 list, which honors private companies bracing for their exit from the pandemic.
Financial details of the agreement were not provided. But NBA arena sponsorships are typically seven figures a year, and sports partnership consultancy firm IEG notes agreements can also amount to up to $30 million a year.
In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Sun’s managing partner Robert Sarwar said the agreement with Footprint is “one of the most unique partnerships in the game” because Footprint has full access to the field and events to test new technologies. will use.
“We are going to innovate and change the way sports venues operate,” Sarwar said. “The idea is that Footprint will create an innovation lab for us in our region, and then we can take that and get other regions around the world interested in doing the same thing.”
Footprint creates sustainable products such as ready-to-eat containers made from bio-based, biodegradable, compostable and recyclable fibers. The footprint has deals with companies including Swanson Foods (makers of Hungry-Man frozen dinners) and Conagra Brands (Healthy Choice Diners). So far, Footprint has raised over $500 million, according to Pitchbook.
“Over time, I think you’ll see they’re going to become a household brand,” Sarwar said. “They are in a position that is very popular among investors and corporations trying to improve their environmental footprint.”
The company makes an agreement with Sun at the right time. The team made it to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993 and recently completed a $230 million renovation of the arena, which included $150 million from the City of Phoenix.
Troy Swapp, co-founder and CEO of Footprint
photo courtesy footprint
Footprint co-founder and CEO Troy Swope said the deal with Sun was “too compelling to pass.”
“The reason it’s called the footprint center is we’re going to have the footprint at the center of the permanent universe,” he said.
Sarwar explained that playgrounds generate a lot of plastic waste but noted that about 10% gets recycled. “It’s terrible for the environment,” he said.
“I was also surprised to learn that many people pay attention to the types of businesses they do business with – the different products they eat, and how they are packaged,” Sarwar said. “I started thinking this would be a great match for our customer base and demographics.”
Footprint Center Interior
Source: Sons Legacy Partners and Footprint
There are sponsorship openings in NBA arenas
With NBA Arena sponsorships there is an opportunity for smaller companies to grow their brands. The San Antonio Spurs have a slot available because AT&T has not retained its rights. The Oklahoma City Thunder may unveil a new name soon, and in March, the Miami Heat agreed to its new 19-year, $135 million field naming rights deal with crypto company FTX.
“You are witnessing a sea change where young companies that are in very high growth mode and want to get their brand name out, are embracing the opportunity to sponsor buildings,” said Sarwar, owner of the WNBA’s Mercury franchise. “
Talking Stick Resort declined to renew the naming rights with Sun last November. The Arizona casino property took over the slot from US Airways in 2015. According to the Arizona Republic, the contract was a 10-year deal worth more than $20 million.
Footprint will benefit from Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. The league approved virtual floor commercials for the company, giving it additional national TV exposure. Those slots are usually reserved for top corporate sponsors, meaning that Sons had to get permission.
“It was unique,” Sarwar said of the new deal. “And it just fits us.”
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