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Shawn Martinez

Shawn Martinez finished up his fourth season as Senior Director of Live Presentation for the Phoenix Suns and Mercury. He oversees the strategy and execution of all in-game live production and entertainment elements for the organizations. Martinez’s leadership elevated the game day experience at the recently renovated Footprint Center, creating the best homecourt advantage in the NBA and WNBA. 

Martinez grew up in Fort Defiance, Arizona, in the Navajo Nation and is an enrolled member of the Diné/Navajo Tribe. An athletic standout from Window Rock High School, Martinez continued his basketball journey at Fort Lewis College. He received his bachelor’s degree in communications and fine arts and launched an entertainment career under the stage alias DJ Tribal Touch.

Before joining the Suns and Mercury, his home state teams, Martinez spent 12 years with the Denver Nuggets and six years with the Detroit Pistons. Beyond basketball, Martinez regularly mentors Native youth and shares his indigenous roots and career journey at various events across the country. In 2022, Shawn performed at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian to celebrate Native veterans and the official dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. As DJ Tribal Touch, he has performed coast to coast at some of sports and entertainment’s biggest events.

Martinez also helped lead and played a pivotal role in the Suns’ efforts to recognize the local Native American community in unique ways, headlined by a symbolic turquoise 2022-2023 City Edition ORIGINATIV platform, which celebrated the cultures and traditions of the 22 Tribal Nations of Arizona.  As part of the initiative, the Suns featured Native American performers and authentic in-game programming during 10 ORIGINATIV themed nights designed to honor Arizona’s Indigenous communities. 

In November 2023, Martinez was presented with the Arizona American Indian Excellence in Leadership “Man of the Year” Award by the Phoenix Indian Center for his commitment to uplifting and serving the community.  Shawn also received the 2023-2024 NBA Values of the Game Award presented to him by the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, which recognizes an individual who embodies the NBA’s mission of inspiring and connecting people through the game of basketball.