The newest Minnesota Timberwolves jerseys will be brought to you by Fitbit. The NBA team inked a three-year deal with the digital health company, which includes the addition of a small patch bearing the brand's logo on the corner of each jersey.
But the partnership goes beyond mere sponsorship, according to team officials. Fitbit technology will also be integrated throughout the newly renovated Target Center arena in Minneapolis. For instance, concession offerings will be logged into Fitbit’s app, to help fans make healthier choices during games. The Iowa Wolves, a Des Moines development league team owned by the Timberwolves, will wear Fitbits to test performance enhancement, exploring areas like sleep, recovery from workouts and nutrition. If the tests go well, the tech could also be used by the NBA team.
“They weren’t just looking at this as a jersey sponsorship,” Fitbit Chief Marketing Officer Tim Rosa told Newsday. “They were looking at it as an opportunity to tell a bigger story around innovation and health and wellness.”
The Timberwolves were one of four teams bidding for Fitbit’s business. Jersey patches are a relatively new phenomenon among NBA teams. Other teams with sponsorship deals include Boston, Sacramento, Philadelphia and Cleveland.
The new Timberwolves jersey, along with its Fitbit patch, will be revealed later this summer.
“This is so much bigger and so much broader of a relationship than just the exposure and the brand association with our jerseys, our players, our team,” Timberwolves CEO Ethan Casson told USA TODAY Sports. “This is fully integrated, and this involves lots of different platforms that we’re excited to work on together.”