Phoenix Area Businesses See Opportunity In Suns Success

By Jack Johnson
Published: Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 5:44pm

Phoenix Suns Arena exterior NBA Finals 2021
Tim Agne/KJZZ
Phoenix Suns Arena before Game 1 of the NBA Finals on July 6, 2021.

The Suns look to keep their magical season alive Tuesday in Milwaukee, hoping to force a decisive Game 7 in pursuit of their first NBA championship. Suns fever has swept the Valley, and many local businesses have jumped on the opportunity to capitalize on the team’s success.

Restaurants throughout the valley are jumping on the Suns bandwagon and offering their own themed products and promotions. The Angry Crab Shack is offering a "CP3 Hurricane" mixed drink, which is named after the Suns' point guard Chris Paul. Ghett Yo Pizza has two specials on their menu titled "Year of the Suns" and "Rally the Valley." The Shazaam! West Coast IPA is being offered by the PHX Beer Co. as a nod to legendary Suns' radio announcer Al McCoy's iconic catchphrase. 

Fred Morgan is co-owner of Fired Pie, a pizza restaurant that is offering a Suns-themed promotion of their own. He says similar promotions have worked for his company in the past, and the goal is always to secure more regular customers. 

“We know if we get you in the door and you try it, you’re going to come back to Fired Pie and try it, even if you’re paying full price,” Morgan said. "That's absolutely why we do these events and promotions."

Morgan says he has heard of businesses near the Suns arena seeing increases of 50% to 80% in consumer traffic on game nights. Regardless of Tuesday night's result, the success of this playoff run could benefit those businesses for years to come. 

“In terms of the Suns’ performance, that could lead to increased season ticket sales for future seasons,"  Christopher Lee, an ASU marketing professor, said. "Which means there will be a ripple effect into next season of additional interest in the Suns, additional interest in the downtown area that could drive additional business.”

It’s an easy transition for restaurants and sports bars. But Lee says other businesses have to get more creative.

“I think of an apparel company that doesn’t have Suns gear. It’s just regular kind of clothing," Lee said. "Maybe you highlight purple and orange types of apparel in your business. Just as a nod to the Phoenix Suns without drastically reshaping what your business is about.”

This has been the first trip to the NBA Finals for the team since 1993, and local businesses are doing everything they can to ensure the customers they draw in because of the Suns craze can be kept long term. 

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