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NBA’s Suns partners FirstBank, Kings signs BlockParty

Buddy Hield #24 of the Sacramento Kings celebrates against the Dallas Mavericks in the second half at American Airlines Center on March 26, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

NBA team the Phoenix Suns has added a new Official Banking Partner, while the Sacramento Kings has agreed a partnership which will focus on technological innovation.

The Suns’ deal with FirstBank is a multi-year partnership focused on strategic marketing.

It will grant the company naming rights to a premium seating area of Phoenix’s Talking Stick Resort Arena. The section will now be called 1STBANK Terrace.

A pair of game day activations will also be incorporated into the deal. The FirstBank Ball Delivery will allow a local fan attending a game for the first time to deliver the game ball onto court. The FirstBank Shot Challenge will see fans compete in an on-court competition with up to $500 on offer as a prize.

These activations will run intermittently throughout the 2019-20 NBA season which begins on October 22.

Jim Reuter, chief executive of FirstBank, said: “Arizona has become a top performing market for FirstBank, so it made sense to team up with one of the NBA’s most storied franchises.

‘’Additionally, Phoenix Suns Charities and the team’s social responsibility efforts mirror our commitment to bettering this community and are models for what we hope to accomplish through our mission of ‘banking for good.”

Elsewhere in the league, the Sacramento Kings has become the latest sports organisation to seek to take advantage of blockchain technology.

In partnership with BlockParty, the team will utilise the technology as part of a reward programme which will be incorporated into its predictive gaming application ‘Call the shot’.

BlockParty will use blockchain technology to track Kings fans engagements and accumulate points in a virtual wallet within each fan’s ‘Sacramento Kings + Golden 1 Center’ app.

Sacramento Kings chairman, chief executive and governor Vivek Ranadivé explained the decision to work with the technology. He said: “We have only just begun to see the benefits of blockchain technology as it transforms the way business is conducted worldwide, ensuring secure transactions across multiple sectors and customers.”

Sacramento have been at the forefront of technological innovation in the NBA and this development represents the first of its kind for the league.

This was also the case with the production of the ‘Call the shot’ application, which was produced in conjunction with technology develop Xperiel. In 2014, the Kings also became the league’s first team to embrace BitCoin by accepting the cryptocurrency as payment in the arena.