The Ak-Chin Indian Community is following in the footsteps of other Arizona-based tribes by partnering with a local, professional sports team.
The Ak-Chin tribe has signed on as an official sponsor of the Arizona Rattlers football team for the 2013 season, states a March 25 press release. The tribe did not disclose how much it is investing in the sponsorship. As part of the deal, the Arizona Rattlers field at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix will be named Ak-Chin Field, and the tribe’s seal will be prominently displayed on the field and around the arena.
American Indian casinos have a strong track record for forming marketing relationships and sponsorships with Phoenix sport teams. The Gila River Indian Community and its casinos sponsor two professional teams: the Arizona Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks. And in January, Gila River Casinos renewed and expanded its sponsorship deal with the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team, giving the tribe new naming rights for the suite level at Jobing.com Arena as well as key logo placement throughout the arena.
The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s gaming arm first entered into a marketing partnership with the Phoenix Suns in 2000, and in May 2005, the tribe’s Scottsdale-based Casino Arizona purchased the naming rights to the entrance of the Suns’ arena, designating it Casino Arizona Pavilion. The tribe also hosts the spring training facility for a pair of MLB squads: the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies. Called the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the 12,500-seat ballpark opened in February of 2011 and served as one of the venues for the 2013 World Baseball Classic in March.
The Rattlers are members of the Arena Football League (AFL) and earned the 2012 ArenaBowl XXV World Championship.
“We are excited about the partnership we are fostering with the Arizona Rattlers,” Ak-Chin tribal chairman Louis J. Manuel Jr. said in a press release. “We respect the Rattlers commitment to community and know that our children will really enjoy the programs this relationship will foster.”
UltraStar Cinemas is also a partner in the Ak-Chin Indian Community’s sponsorship deal. The California-based company operates a movie theater and entertainment venue featuring cinemas, bowling, restaurants, an arcade and live entertainment at the tribe’s Ak-Chin Circle in Maricopa. The sponsorship agreement includes plans for a series of activation events at the Ak-Chin-owned UltraStar Multi-tainment Center.
“We know that working together, we are going to deliver a new and exciting guest experience, both in the arena and at the Multi-tainment Center,” said Adam Saks, vice president of operations and general manager at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle.
According to tribal statistics, the 937-member Ak-Chin Indian Community, nestled into the Santa Cruz Valley of Southern Arizona, is the number one employer for the entire Pinal County region. The tribe's Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino & Resort in Maricopa alone employs more than 800 people.