The NBA arena that plans to end single-use plastic starting this season

Asia's Tech News Daily

Footprint Center exteriorSource: Suns Legacy Partners & Footprint

When the Phoenix Suns open the 2021-2022 NBA season at home on Oct. 20, fans will likely notice the new banner hanging from the rafters celebrating the Suns' run to the 2021 NBA Finals.

They might also notice that their drink is in a biodegradable, compostable cup made from plant materials, as well as the recycling and compost cans that now dot concourses as opposed to garbage cans.

Those changes are the result of a new naming rights partnership with Footprint, the material science technology company that has set a goal of eliminating single-use plastics — typically a very common sight in an arena between beer cups, food trays and containers, and plastic silverware and straws.

“We're not only having a tip-off; we're having a tipping point of change,” said Footprint chief marketing officer Susan Koehler. “We believe this venue will transform and show the world how to go plastic-free.”

Organizations across all industries are making massive investments towards achieving environmental, social and governance-related goals, and that includes professional sports. Leagues like the NFL and NBA now have sustainability-focused programs, LEED certification is nearly a given for any new stadium development, and NHL and MLS teams have worn Adidas jerseys made from recycled materials to both reduce environmental impact and raise awareness.

“We have a responsibility to play a role in our communities and to make them better places to live,” said Dan Costello, Phoenix Suns chief revenue officer. “It's possible to do good and do well at the same time.”

Putting sustainability front and center

There are few better ways for a sports team to signal a commitment to sustainability than through a stadium naming rights deal, its most visible and lucrative corporate partnership that can bring in upwards of $10 million a year in some NBA markets. Terms of the Footprint deal were not disclosed, but the company was reportedly seeking at least a 10-year deal worth $9 million annually, according to the Sports Business Journal.

“We're not just choosing businesses just around taking a check; we really focus on businesses that fit the personality of who we are as a team, which is being known for innovation and technology,” Costello said. “Environmental and social governance is important to us, and we know they mean something to other companies — we're trying to create a place where they can come and share those stories too.”

The Suns have looked to embrace sustainability before. Their arena was one of the first in professional sports to add solar power, back in 2012. The arena has also adopted other environmentally friendly practices like using LED lighting and having touchless faucets and toilets to conserve water.

Telling the story of what can be done now and in the future around sustainability at an arena is the goal for the Footprint Center, which is also the home to the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, said Koehler. The partnership also includes Real Mallorca, the Spanish soccer club owned by Robert Sarver, the chairman of both the Suns and Mercury.

“There are 41 NBA home games, but there's Mercury games, other sporting events, concerts, Disney On Ice, conferences,” Koehler said. “It's an opportunity to invite the public in the state and around the world to experience what sustainability looks like.”

The first change will be the removal of single-use plastic items like plates, packaging, and utensils for Footprint's recyclable and compostable plant-based fiber products. Garbage cans will also be replaced with recycling and compost containers. Additional Footprint products will be added over time, as well as other sustainability-focused practices.

The arena will also serve as a “living innovation lab,” Koehler said, where other companies can learn more about how sustainability efforts are being received by tens of thousands of people each night.

Footprint and the Suns are aiming to get fans involved, from videos talking about sustainability and how to manage their trash on the giant scoreboard during games, to encouraging people to sign up for a climate pledge initiative to cut plastics from their lives. The Suns and Mercury will also encourage players to take part in the pledge, as well as other entertainers who perform in the arena.

Koehler said she hopes the arena further pushes sports into a more sustainable mindset and future. She said Footprint, which ranked No. 45 on the 2021 CNBC Disruptor 50 list, has already fielded several calls from sports teams across the U.S. and globally since this deal was announced about what could be done around sustainability in their arenas and stadiums.

“The sports industry is going to start seeing that there is this movement around sustainability and what it means to be a part of it — I think all stadiums are going to see it as something they have to do and there will be minimum bars of transparency of what that means,” Koehler said. “You see how consumer attitudes are changing in relation to companies and brands regarding sustainability and they're basically saying, 'we will reward the companies that make the change, and [those companies] should have a responsibility to care for the planet and its people.”

Pro sports embrace the environment

While the sports industry has been moving towards more environmentally-friendly practices in recent years, the fact that sustainability messaging will now be literally on the name of an arena is “truly unprecedented,” said Garrett Wong, a member services manager at the Green Sports Alliance, an environmentally-focused trade organization in the sports industry.

Wong also pointed to Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, for which Amazon purchased the naming rights for upwards of $300 million over the life of the deal in in August 2020. Instead of putting its corporate name on the building, Amazon dedicated it to bringing attention to climate change. The arena, which will be home to the NHL's Seattle Kraken, is aiming to be the first zero-carbon arena in the world, powered by renewable energy, and is also aiming to rid itself of single-use plastics by 2024.

In October 2020, Ball Corp. acquired the naming rights to the Denver arena that the NBA's Nuggets and NHL's Colorado Avalanche call home, partially in an effort to further showcase its plan to replace plastic products with its recyclable aluminum ones.

Putting that message more in front of the fans is not only a change for the sports teams but also for companies like Footprint, said Kristin Hanczor, Green Sports Alliance senior partnership manager.

“Before this year, you wouldn't have ever stepped foot in an arena where you used the word climate or Footprint — this is all new for sports fans,” she said. “This is also a key piece for those companies to tie their name to a sports team and really tell fans why they are there.”

The ability to use sports as a vehicle to have more people think about sustainability is something not lost on Koehler, as fans now will be cheering in an arena with the company's name on it.

“We love our sports, Americans love their teams; if we can help educate fans on how they can make a difference and we make it interesting, there's an opportunity for a widespread transformation,” she said.

Footprint co-founder & CEO Troy Swope will be among the speakers and panelists at this year's Disruptor 50 Summit — CNBC's annual celebration of the next generation of great public companies. Register to join us here.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Travel agents hope for outbound recovery Thais wishing to take trips overseas are still encountering obstacles

Travellers at Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Nov 15, following the reopening of the country this year on Nov 1. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard) While international trips have rebounded across the globe, the ... Read more »

Wall St turns red as Omicron reaches the US

An infected a person returns to the US from South Africa, where the coronavirus variant was discovered. NEW YORK (REUTERS) – Wall Street’s major averages fell more than 1 per ... Read more »

SAM seeks partners for joint venture AMC

SAM is restructuring its organisation in all areas, says Mr Tharatporn. Sukhumvit Asset Management (SAM) Co wants to join with banks to set up a joint venture asset management company ... Read more »

Santa Clauses are coming to town — and they've been brushing up on their skills

Enrollment is up this year at Santa Claus school, after a season of virtual visits left families and Santa entertainers longing for a return to the old-fashioned experience. Read more »

‘Whoever gains fossil energy must put the CO2 back into the soil'

Twenty-five climate summits had to pass before the closing statement of the 26th, in Glasgow, cited “fossil fuels” as a cause of climate change. That simple truth could go unmentioned ... Read more »

Stocks making the biggest moves after hours: Square, Snowflake, Five Below & more

An overall view of the Snowflake IPO banner on the front of The NYSE as employees of the tech company celebrate the largest tech IPO in exchange history, Sept. 16, ... Read more »

New worries about Omikron push New York stocks into the red

Earlier gains on the stock exchanges in New York have evaporated at the close on Wednesday. During the trading session, concerns grew over the Omikron variant of the coronavirus discovered ... Read more »

Council: give farmers more freedom when it comes to sustainability

There must be a new government policy for farmers who want to make their farms greener in the coming years. For example, there must be more requirements applied to individual ... Read more »

Disney names Susan Arnold as board chair, replacing Bob Iger

Susan ArnoldSource: Disney Susan Arnold is taking over as Disney's Chairman of the Board, the company announced Wednesday. She'll succeed Bob Iger, who stepped down as Disney CEO early last ... Read more »

Ambarella, Box rise;, Generac fall

NEW YORK — Stocks that traded heavily or had substantial price changes Wednesday: Inc., down $33.46 to $251.50. The customer-management software developer gave investors a disappointing fourth-quarter earnings forecast. ... Read more »

John Kerry says private sector can win climate change battle

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry speaks during a joint China and US statement on a declaration enhancing climate action, at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Britain November 10, 2021.Jeff ... Read more »

Apple loses key autos engineer to electric aviation startup Archer

Attendees watch as the Archer Aviation Maker is unveiled on June 10, 2021 in Hawthorne, California.Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images Michael Schwekutsch, a director of engineering in ... Read more »

Reuters: Air France-KLM postpones capital increase for Omikron

Photo: ANP Air France-KLM may be postponing a planned capital increase because the emergence of the Omikron variant of the coronavirus is leading to a lot of uncertainty in the ... Read more »

Dow finishes 450 points lower, triggered by first omicron case in U.S.

Travel stocks were the biggest losers, with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines all dropping by around 5 percent each. Read more »

Burger King to simplify drive-thru menu to speed up lines

Cil said Burger King would also introduce technological advancement in preparing sandwiches and install digital menu boards to help make drive-thrus more efficient. Restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King, will ... Read more »

Retailers need to stoke the Christmas spirit to hit lofty holiday sales targets

Shoppers ascend and descend an escalator at the Willow Grove Park Mall in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, November 14, 2020.Mark Makela | Reuters Is it beginning to look a lot like ... Read more »

European airports condemn entry bans over Omikron

Photo: ANP European airports have lashed out at countries that have announced entry bans because of the new Omikron variant of the corona virus. The Netherlands, among others, denies access ... Read more »

Fed survey finds supply-chain shortages boosting inflation

WASHINGTON — Many parts of the country were hit by supply chain disruptions and labor shortages in November, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday. In a survey of business conditions around ... Read more »

IRS could collect taxes from pot firms if they used big banks, Yellen says

Pot businesses should be able to access services at the biggest US banks, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Wednesday. Bloomberg via Getty Images Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she supports ... Read more »

Expert admits ten-fold growth of Russia's non-profit sector due to pandemic

Meanwhile, a few systemic issues should be solved for the development of the country’s non-profit sector Read more »

Alec Baldwin says he did not pull the trigger before the bullet struck, killed 'Rust' cinematographer

Alec Baldwin on Oct 7, 2021 at the Hamptons International Film Festival.Mark Sagliocco | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images Actor Alec Baldwin said he did not pull the trigger ... Read more »

GM raises 2021 earnings guidance on pricing and better chip supply

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali UltimateGM General Motors is slightly raising its 2021 earnings guidance on strong pricing and resilient consumer demand, despite ongoing impacts from a global shortage of ... Read more »

Pension funds stable, but pension increase remains uncertain

Never in the past 12 years has raising pensions been so close as in recent months, especially now that the cabinet has agreed to lower the limit on which pensions ... Read more »

Russia's retail trade turnover up 7.9% year-on-year in January-October 2021

The retail trade turnover in October 2021 gained 4.1% annually to 3.46 trillion rubles Read more »

Commission wants to invest abroad, so there will be a counterpart for New Silk Road

More and more countries are coming home from a cold fair. If the loans are not repaid to China on time, the price is high. For example, Sri Lanka lost ... Read more »

Cramer says he's not ready to take profits in Nvidia, sees stock at $10 trillion one day

CNBC's Jim Cramer said Wednesday he's not ready to sell any shares Nvidia yet, even though he recently booked some profits in two other big charitable trust winners Advanced Micro ... Read more »

Anode Energie files for bankruptcy due to energy prices

After Welkom Energie and Enstroga, another energy company collapsed on Thursday due to the increased market prices. Anode Energie, a company with about 14,000 customers, will soon also file for ... Read more »

Watch live: White House officials update nation on omicron Covid variant

[This stream is slated to begin at 1:40. Please refresh the page if you do not see the stream] White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci and press secretary ... Read more »

Corporate governance professor in the firing line at Intertrust

Premium The best of De Telegraaf Through Edwin van der Schoot 36 min ago in FINANCIAL Hélène Vletter-van Dort, Professor of Financial Law & Governance, Erasmus School of Law ⓒ ... Read more »

Abrdn on verge of finalising £1.5bn Interactive Investor takeover

The FTSE 100 asset manager could announce the takeover of the direct-to-consumer investing platform as soon as Thursday, Sky News learns. Read more »

OPEC can elect new secretary general in January 2022 — source

The new secretary general will be elected at the extraordinary meeting Read more »

Anode Energie falls due to increased energy prices

Anode Energie, an energy supplier with around 14,000 customers, is filing for bankruptcy. According to Anode, it had purchased energy from a party that failed to fulfill its obligations. As ... Read more »

Dow jumps 500 points as stocks recover some Omicron sell-off losses

The gains come after Tuesday’s sell-off as investors fretted over fears that COVID-19’s new Omicron variant could wreak fresh havoc on the world economy. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File The Dow ... Read more »

Anode Energie also collapses due to increased energy prices

Photo: ANP Energy company Anode Energie will soon file for bankruptcy with the court in Rotterdam, the company announced. The company has about 14,000 direct and indirect customers for small ... Read more »

Capital One to drop overdraft fees for all retail banking customers

It’s the largest U.S. bank yet to end the lucrative industry practice of charging customers a hefty fee, typically $25 to $35 each instance. Read more »

Oil rallies as OPEC meets, but supply glut looms

Representative image (Source: Reuters) Oil prices rallied on Wednesday after recent sharp drops as major producers started to discuss future output against the backdrop of a new coronavirus variant triggering ... Read more »

Strong recovery on European stock markets, aviation sector ends higher

The stock exchange in Amsterdam closed with a significant profit on Wednesday. Investors reacted to reports that vaccines probably offer protection against the new Omikron variant of the corona virus. ... Read more »

Visa CEO: COVID caused permanent shift to digital payments

The Associated PressFILE – Visa CEO Al Kelly speaks on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. Kelly said he believes the pandemic caused a ... Read more »

Stocks, oil bounce back after Omicron-driven selloff

Representative image World stock markets and oil prices bounced back while safe havens fell Wednesday as investors began December by betting that the recently identified Omicron variant of the coronavirus ... Read more »

Inadequate control of EU payments costs the Netherlands many millions

Photo: ANP The Netherlands pays tens of millions to the European Commission as a result of problems with customs accounting. It concerns payments to the EU. In the first instance, ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic