While the last few years has seen a lot of expansion out of PayPal, it’s latest announcement with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury certainly stands out. The team and PayPal have announced that PayPal will be the team’s official jersey badge partner. The Mercury’s jersey from here forward will feature the PayPal logo on the front left shoulder, opposite the Nike logo that appears on the front right.
The new jerseys come as part of a broader PayPal collaboration with Phoenix’s athletic scene. In late fall, the global payments leader announced it would be the official payment partner of the Phoenix Suns, the Phoenix Mercury and Real Club Deportivo Mallorca.
“PayPal has had a significant presence in Arizona and the Phoenix metro area for more than a decade, and we are proud to be the Suns’ first jersey patch partner and work with an organization that is so important to a city and state we also call home,” PayPal’s President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Schulman noted in a release shortly after the partnerships were announced.
According to both PayPal and the team, the new jersey badge partnership speaks to their shared values, particularly around inclusion, collaboration, innovation and opportunity.
“We are incredibly gratified that a company of PayPal’s global stature and impact values a partnership of this magnitude with our WNBA team,” said Mercury Chief Operating Officer Vince Kozar. “Diversity, inclusion and equality are at the heart of our team’s mission, and we are fortunate to have found a company whose values so closely mirror ours. Our players and fans live that mission every day, so it’s only fitting that our game uniform will feature a PayPal logo and our season ticket members will be known as the PayPal X-Factor.”
PayPal will be the first left shoulder sponsor of the Phoenix Mercury, and will join local sponsor Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort on the front of the jersey. The Phoenix Mercury was the first team in the WNBA to sign a sponsor patch deal. Jay Parry, who was the president and COO of the Mercury at the time and later served as COO of the entire WNBA, said those sponsorship deals offered a unique opportunity for both sides by bringing “new ways for brands to connect with our players and our fans and our teams,” reported USA Today.
Enthusiasm for these types of pair-ups in the market, however, has been a bit more muted. “They’re not going to get $20 million a year like the Warriors are getting with Rakuten,” Bob Dorfman, the creative director of Baker Street Advertising, told USA Today. “But again, it’s a way for brands to connect with a sports market.”