The Timberwolves have reached an agreement with Fitbit to be their jersey sponsor for the 2017-18 season.
This comes as a bit of surprise (to me, at any rate,) as I expected a local company to be the Wolves first jersey patch. Fitbit is based in California, but the deal makes sense.
Fitbit manufactures wearable devices that track various aspects of the wearer’s health, and many NBA teams are adapting wearable technology to better understand player fitness, conditioning, and fatigue. The deal calls for the Iowa Wolves to serve as something of a testing ground for technology in this area.
In addition to the jersey patch, there Fitbit will also be marketed through in-arena signage, the team store, and in other ways.
The deal also extends to the Minnesota Lynx.
Here’s part of the press release:
Minneapolis-St. Paul – The Minnesota Timberwolves, as part of a series of summer announcements highlighting a new era for the organization, today announced a new three-year partnership with Fitbit, the leading global wearables brand. Fitbit is now the “Official Wearable” and “Official Sleep Tracker” of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Lynx and Iowa Wolves in a partnership that extends to the court, arena, back-office and fans. Fitbit will provide access to devices to all three teams, including business and basketball staffs, offering personalized insights that can be used to gain a competitive advantage and improve performance throughout the organization. Fitbit’s logo will appear on Timberwolves player uniforms beginning with the 2017-18 season as the team’s jersey patch partner, as well as on the Iowa Wolves jerseys.
The jersey patch will be unveiled later this summer with the new uniforms. The team will wear the jerseys for the first time during two exhibition games against the Golden State Warriors in October as part of the 2017 NBA Global Games in China. “With many synergies between our two organizations, Fitbit is the ideal partner for our first ever jersey patch,” said Timberwolves & Lynx CEO Ethan Casson. “As a business, we are taking a fresh look at technology and innovation, and partnering with a company that also values the importance of data and analytics will serve us both well in the years to come. We look forward to working with Fitbit towards the common goal of improving organizational performance and serving the health and wellness of our communities.” Fitbit and the Timberwolves organization are exploring opportunities for the Iowa Wolves to serve as a testbed for using Fitbit technology in new ways to enhance basketball performance. The Timberwolves will encourage all employees to adopt Fitbit devices to further establish the organization as a leader of corporate health and wellness.
“We’re excited to partner with an organization that recognizes and embraces the powerful role that innovative technology, data and analytics can play in improving performance,” said Tim Rosa, SVP & Chief Marketing Officer at Fitbit. “Wearable technology is in a position to change the sports and fitness landscape, and we’re committed to working hand-in-hand with the Timberwolves to identify new ways that Fitbit can provide value throughout the organization and also bring an engaging experience tied to health and wellness to fans and the community.”
Fitbit will also receive a number of marketing assets, including branding and integration across the team’s mobile app, in-arena signage and team store. The companies are working to integrate the new concessions menus into the food logging section of the Fitbit app, making it easier for fans to make more informed decisions about what to eat and track food consumed at games. Fitbit will also reach fans through the team’s social channels, including the branded Fitbit Stat Tracker that showcases Timberwolves player stats and highlights, and involvement in community relations events, as well as Fitbit Challenges. Fitbit will have the opportunity to grow visibility and relationships within a market that is considered one of the leaders in fitness. Duluth topped Fitbit’s Fittest Cities list in 2017, with Minneapolis ranking second in 2016, and Minnesota is home to many like-minded companies, clients and partners of Fitbit, including UnitedHealth Group, providing additional opportunities for collaboration in the future.