PayPal, Phoenix Suns Set Up Mobile Payment Deal

October 4, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

The notion of mobile payments at sporting events is far from new. In fact, we’ve seen some rather novel concepts come out of this fertile crescent of sports, concessions, and buying stuff, especially when the notion of “pay from your seat and get delivery” is involved. Recently, the Phoenix Suns and PayPal get together on a whole new deal focused on mobile payments and the “omnichannel experience” for sports.

Omnichannel, if you’re not familiar, is basically a way of saying “be where the customer is.” Omnichannel marketing, for example, means the company has marketing going on on television, radio, print, social media, YouTube, and anywhere else it can find. So that’s about what PayPal and the Phoenix Suns are going to try here, except in this case, it means that PayPal will be everywhere the customer is for a Suns game.

Basically, PayPal users will be able to place orders from their seats, and then have those items ready for pickup on their way out. They can even have some items shipped home, like with jerseys and hats or similar matter.

A set of integrated point-of-sale (POS) systems built in at the Suns’ Talking Stick Resort Arena will help facilitate matters, and PayPal users will open up a range of options. In something of a first, even PayPal balances will be usable. PayPal, in turn, gets a branding spot on Phoenix Suns patches, and PayPal Credit even becomes available to season ticket holders.

One thing that doesn’t seem much mentioned here is the impact on concessions. This is easily one of the biggest parts of a sporting experience—many likely can’t imagine a ball game without hot dogs or at least beer—and PayPal doesn’t seem to be there. There was some mention of it in the reports, but nothing specific, which makes me wonder what exactly the connection is there. It’s a great place to add mobile payments to the lineup, and if PayPal is really out to be omnichannel, it will have a presence there.

Still, what we know so far is heartening enough. PayPal and the Suns should be able to put together a winner of a deal here, and making the experience more convenient is better for the customer almost every time.