Why an NBA exec says the deal between the Phoenix Suns and PayPal is a game changer

Sponsorship has led to billions of dollars in transactions through PayPal products.

By Brandon Brown | Phoenix Business Journal

By almost all measures, the Phoenix Suns’ 2018-2019 season was far from a success. The team only won 19 games — one of the worst records in the National Basketball Association — which resulted in head coach Igor Kokoskov being fired and a complete retooling of the roster in the off-season.

But despite those struggles on the court, there is one aspect of the Suns organization that is so noteworthy, the NBA gave the team an award.

Earlier this month the league named the Suns the 2019 “NBA Changemaker of the Year,” because of its partnership with online payment company PayPal Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: PYPL).

PayPal is headquartered in San Jose, California, but has significant operations and employment in the Phoenix area.

This is the first year the league has given this peer-voted award, delivering a message that the NBA values and encourages creative partnerships, Jonathan Tillman, the NBA’s vice president of team marketing and business operations, told the Business Journal.

“This unique partnership grew PayPal’s business and changed fan experience at Talking Stick Resort Arena,” Tillman said.

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