NBA’s Timberwolves, Magic sign jersey sponsors

NBA basketball franchises the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic have agreed jersey sponsorship deals with wearable products brand Fitbit and the Walt Disney World Resort theme park complex, respectively.

Fitbit has agreed a three-year deal, covering the 2017-18 to 2019-20 seasons, for its branding to feature on the front of the Timberwolves’ jerseys, as well as on the jerseys of the franchise’s G-League affiliate team, the Iowa Wolves.

Fitbit will serve as the official wearable and official sleep tracker of the Timberwolves, Wolves and women’s WNBA team the Minnesota Lynx as part of the agreement. All three teams will benefit from Fitbit products.

Fitbit will also benefit from brand exposure across the Timberwolves' mobile app and social media channels, in-arena signage and a presence in the club store. The company will also work with the Timberwolves to introduce new concessions menus into the food logging section of the Fitbit app.

Fitbit will reach out to 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 and the Timberwolves will explore 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 in a bid to further establish the organisation as a leader of corporate health and wellness.

The Timberwolves will wear the new jersey for the first time when facing off against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Global Games event in China in October. 

“We’re excited to partner with an organisation that recognises and embraces the powerful role that innovative technology, data and analytics can play in improving performance,” Tim Rosa, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer at Fitbit, said.

“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 organisation and also bring an engaging experience tied to health and wellness to fans and the community.”

Meanwhile, Walt Disney World has expanded its partnership with the Magic to become the team’s first-ever jersey sponsor from next season.

As part of the new multi-year agreement, the resort will be granted a special seating and hospitality area at the Amway Center, the team’s home arena. Walt Disney World has been a community sponsor of the team since 2010.

“At Walt Disney World Resort, we naturally believe in all things magic and are happy to support our hometown team,” George Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort, said. “This long-term relationship symbolises our shared focus of solidifying Orlando as a world class city for sports.”

The NBA announced in April 2016 that teams would be permitted to agree jersey sponsorship deals as part of a three-year pilot programme spanning the 2017-18 to 2019-20 seasons.

The latest deals bring the total number of teams to have signed jersey sponsors for next season to eight, with the Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz having also secured deals.