How 12 News & the Phoenix Suns’ NBA Finals Appearance are Uniting Arizona

The Phoenix Suns have made an amazing run to the NBA Finals – something the team hasn’t done since 1993. As TEGNA’s Mark Curtis, anchor at 12 News in Phoenix, explains, this championship run has united the city in more ways than one. Find out how the Suns are not only winning big basketball games but also bringing Arizona together after a rough 2020.

The last time the Phoenix Suns were in the NBA finals, it was 1993. Charles Barkley was one of the most outrageous players in the league. That team ultimately lost to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, but now, the city is counting on the three-headed monster of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and DeAndre Ayton to bring home the team’s first-ever NBA championship.

As 12 News’ anchor Mark Curtis explains, a championship would be huge for the city of Phoenix, not just to bring home the NBA title, but to also help heal the wounds and division that Phoenix experienced in 2020.

“We have been through an incredibly tough year and a half as Americans. We have had this deep, deep political divide in the country, coupled with the pandemic,” says Curtis. “As a city, Phoenix has been starved for anything to look forward to throughout this whole experience, and if the Suns get over the hump and win this championship, it will solve many wounds we have as a society.”

For example, Curtis cites those wounds as people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, those angry over the election, or angry over the audits that took place. “I think as this championship begins, those things will be forgotten for however long that the championship run goes on.”

Not only will worries be forgotten, but Curtis also says the Suns’ championship run will also bring the city together at a time we need it most. In fact, back in 1993, more than 300,000 showed up to celebrate the team  – and that’s after losing to the Bulls.

“The one thing that unites a community, more than anything, is sports. Sports can take political and socioeconomic divides and unify people for one common goal. Those on opposite sides of the political aisle stand arm-in-arm for the Phoenix Suns. This championship run has come along at the perfect time for our state.”

What Makes 12 News’ Coverage the Best in Town?

Helping unite the city of Phoenix, 12 News is providing original content for this unique team and this once-in-a-lifetime moment.

“Through the good and bad years with the Suns, we have maintained a semblance of Suns DNA in all of our coverage,” says Curtis. “Then you add in Bruce Cooper who is the Charles Barkley of Phoenix broadcasters, Cameron Cox, Chierston Susel, and Lina Washington, you have a group of top tier sports journalists,” says Curtis.

On top of that, 12 News has experimented with coverage that Curtis describes as “unheard of.” The night the team clinched their trip to the finals, 12 News broke into programming and went over an hour in prime time.

“We’re committed to bringing great coverage at the moment as it happens,” says Curtis.  

What Does This Mean for Brand Advertisers?

At TEGNA, our relationship with fans runs deep.​ Whether it’s local sports, the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup, or the Olympics, millions of fans turn to TEGNA for the voices and personalities with expertise like Curtis, a local influencer with the knowledge, access, and spark​ to keep fans on their feet and fully engaged.​

“When you have a company like TEGNA and 12 News, and all of the platforms we can offer advertisers through our digital and social media platforms, through our on-air programming, it’s a can’t-miss,” says Curtis.

“And I say that with humility, but also with a degree of insider knowledge that our team and its commitment to coverage can get things done for any advertiser. I don’t think that there’s any doubt that when 12 News hangs onto something and grabs it by the tail, we don’t let go. And, not only are our viewers along for the ride, but our advertisers benefit greatly from that.”

Sound Good?

Is your brand thinking of how to amplify your brand messaging in sports content? Across nearly every medium in hundreds of markets, TEGNA connects with fans​ in the community, living rooms, and the games. Let us keep you in Good Company. Get in Touch.

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