American Express expands footprint with Utah Jazz, OVG deals

Featured image credit: Phil Whitehouse/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size

Payment card services company American Express has signed a sponsorship deal with the Utah Jazz NBA basketball team, while it has also entered into a partnership with Oak View Group, operator of Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena and New York’s UBS Arena.

American Express’ deal with the Jazz names the company as the official payments partner of the team and its Vivint Arena (pictured). The multi-year deal also designates American Express as the official payment systems provider for all events at the 18,200-capacity facility.

A new contactless American Express shop will debut on the main concourse at Vivint Arena in early 2023. The card member-only, checkout-free store will allow guests to tap their card upon entry, with sensors inside the shop to identify the weight of each item selected from the shelves. The card will automatically be charged when guests leave the store.

As part of the deal, American Express card members will also receive access to tickets and merchandise before they go on general sale, as well as access to two dedicated entrances at Vivint Arena.

Additionally, card members will receive exclusive seat upgrade opportunities, while American Express branding will appear throughout Vivint Arena and on social media.

Chris Barney, chief commercial officer for the Jazz, said: “As one of the most globally recognised companies in the world, we are thrilled to have American Express affiliated with our arena and organisation.

“This partnership allows us to create unique opportunities and unforgettable experiences that far exceed fans’ expectations while attending live sports and entertainment events.”

Meanwhile, American Express’ deal with Oak View Group names it as the official payment partner of Climate Pledge Arena and UBS Arena, the respective homes of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken and New York Islanders.

Card members at the two arenas will receive exclusive benefits, including early access to pre-sales and dedicated tickets to sports and music events.

The company will also sponsor the American Express Hall at Climate Pledge Arena and the American Express Lounge at UBS Arena, while card members will receive a discount of 10% at eligible concessions such as bars and clubs.

Dedicated entrances will also be set up to offer shorter wait times, with other perks to include enhanced parking options, VIP experiences with team players, limited-edition team merchandise and more.

Tim Leiweke, chairman and chief executive of Oak View Group, added: “We set out to build the best music and sports venues in the world, and in order to build the best, you need first-class partners who share a common vision.

“I have worked with American Express for most of my professional career and they are not only unequivocally the most innovative company in the financial services space, but also a company who understands and appreciates a shared vision.

“From day one, we wanted American Express card members to feel special every time they stepped into Climate Pledge Arena and UBS Arena, and we think this partnership delivers on that promise perfectly.”