Phoenix Suns, Mercury team up with Valley-based company to eliminate single-use plastic
Apr 19, 2022, 4:45 AM
PHOENIX – As the Phoenix Suns play for a second consecutive appearance in the NBA Finals, the team, its partners and the arena are embarking on another mission: sustainability.
In the midst of the Phoenix Suns’ 2021 NBA Playoffs run, the arena was renamed Footprint Center.
The Gilbert-based materials science company that entered into a multiyear naming rights deal for the arena has a goal to reduce single-use plastic.
This mission quickly became a joint effort between both local entities.
“This partnership with Footprint is really designed with the idea of the elimination of single-use plastic and [a] significant amount of education about the habits that need to change in our communities and we’re so excited to have Footprint as our naming rights partner as we embark on this journey,” Dan Costello, executive vice president and chief revenue officer for the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and Footprint Center, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
The partnership is far from in-name-only.
As part of the partnership, Footprint has used a team of experts to help the arena become carbon-neutral and single-use plastic-free.
Footprint Center is also designed to be what Costello calls a “ living innovation lab” for the arena’s food and beverage suppliers to learn more about consumer sentiment and how they can ultimately transition away from plastic.
Beyond Footprint Center’s own elimination of single-use plastic, the arena, its teams and events are all committed to educating fans and concertgoers alike.
“We see over a million fans that come through here a year and this will be a great opportunity for us to educate our fans on what can happen when innovation meets opportunity and that’s an exciting place for us to be,” Costello said.
He emphasized that while this is a mutually beneficial partnership for the entities involved, it’s also responding to a call from fans.
“We’re seeing a different generation of fans that are caring about their community, their environment,” he said. “Part of the excitement we had around partnering with Footprint is that it aligns with what families are talking about, what this next generation of fans cares about and we think we’re on the cutting edge of that.”
Costello explained that because this is a cause that resonates so deeply with fans, he believes it will inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
“I think, for us, this type of partnership will have an effect that not only changes the world for our kids, but maybe even our children’s kids,” he said. “This type of partnership is also inspiring other teams and other leagues to think about what they’re doing as well.”
To learn more about the partnership, click here.