Suns First To Offer Social Media Suite Package

What's the best way to sign a new sponsor? The Phoenix Suns are surely taking an innovative approach.

They're offering something called a Suite and Social night, in which a company gets 20 tickets to a suite for a game night along with six parking passes and catering. They also get the right to make two Facebook status updates about their company to the Suns 229,000+ fans, at least a quarter of which are in Arizona. They also have the rights to make three Twitter mentions on the @PhoenixSunsfeed, which has more than 45,000 followers.

Photo credit: Phoenix Suns

The idea, of course, is to allow companies to sample a Suns game and also see the power of its following. The package costs $7,000.

"We wanted to tailor an affordable package to smaller businesses that don't have large advertising budgets," said Mandy Medsker, digital account executive for the team.

Medsker said the team has already sold the package to a local social media company called Digital Madhouse.

I had two questions.

Were the Suns worried that fans would be turned off by the messages from a company that doesn't even have a relationship with the team?

"We’ve addressed that here," Medsker said. "We have to be careful with that balance and we think we've limited things and don't think it will appear like we'll be shoving marketing messages down the throats of fans."

The other question was: Are the Suns giving away too much?

Should someone that doesn't have a formal relationship with the team have this much access? One sports marketer told me absolutely. That the Suns were throwing in too much to try to land new sponsorships. He'd use this as a throw-in to one of his team's current partners already spending a lot of money. Another said he was impressed with the ingenuity and believed it was a very creative way of trying to get new companies into the building and spending money on the team.

Questions? Comments?