A quick scan of the more than 17,000 orange-and-purple clad fans in attendance during Sunday’s Game 1 between the Phoenix Suns and L.A. Clippers revealed a truly engaged fanbase.
For Suns Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Dan Costello, that engagement has been a winning thing, both on and off the court.
Costello told BetArizona.com in the hours leading up to Game 1 against the Clippers that the franchise has seen huge spikes in attendance (Sunday was the team’s 75th straight sellout) and TV viewership.
Costello believes much of that is due to the Suns’ AZ sports betting partnership with FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona, which the team signed in 2021.
“We've learned a lot about the excitement and the engagement,” Costello said of the impact wagering has had on the franchise. “When fans come to a game, they're rooting for who’s going to score the first basket. They're waiting for really exciting things throughout the game.
“And, for us, it's about engagement and excitement. And I think we've gotten really good at delivering an experience and FanDuel just happens to provide a really great experience inside the arena.”
Delivering First-Class Experience For Fans
While the Suns’ midseason trade for superstar forward Kevin Durant garnered much of the on the court headlines and buzz at Arizona NBA betting sites, Costello sees the overall growth in fan engagement as the real headline from the 2022-23 campaign.
In an ever-digital world, Costello said meeting fans where they spend the most time is an increasingly important task.
That’s where FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona employees, such as the Footprint Center facility’s General Manager Jeffrey Brogan, come in.
Brogan told BetArizona.com before Sunday’s game the operator is thrilled to be partnered with the Suns, thanks to both camps’ commitment to establishing multi-channel ways for customers to engage with the action.
He highlighted the Footprint Center sportsbook’s ability to host several unique events, such as allowing customers to shoot 3-pointers on the arena’s court, as an example of the value the Suns-FanDuel pact/
“The Suns are just such a phenomenal partner. And it's such a unique relationship for us,” Brogan said. “There are events and special types of things that we can do for our customers that I’m pretty confident no one else in this space is able to do.
“And I’d like to think the partnership keeps evolving and I just can't say enough about what a great partner they are. The Suns are just a phenomenal partner.”
It’s that evolving relationship that highlights the pact’s value for the Suns, according to Costello, as the operator’s online wagering platform allows fans to plug into the game like never before.
Costello highlighted the jampacked FanDuel Sportsbook inside the arena Sunday afternoon as an example, allowing fans to make gameday a daylong event.
“It’s become a part of the experience. It's a communal aspect of the game,” Costello said. “And a lot of what we built here at Footprint Center is about the communal experience fans get from cheering and spending time together.
“And FanDuel Sportsbook is the perfect partner for that because it’s a perfect complement for what we're trying to do.”