ESPN.com’s sports business reporter since 2012; previously at ESPN from 2000-06 Appears on SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and with ABC News
The Minnesota Timberwolves announced Tuesday that wearable fitness tracker Fitbit will have its logo on the team’s jerseys next season.
The company will be named the “Official Wearable” and “Sleep Tracker” of the Timberwolves, WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx and the Iowa Wolves of the G League.
Like the previous six patch deals sold, the deal is fully allowed for an NBA trial period of three years. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
“Fitbit is a great partner of our arena naming rights sponsor, Target, and it also makes sense with what we do at our Mayo Clinic training facility,” said Ethan Casson, CEO of the Timberwolves and Lynx.
In May, the Minneapolis-St. Paul area was named America’s “Fittest City” by the American College of Sports Medicine. Minneapolis came in as the 20th most active, according to Fitbit data.
Fitbit, which is the leader in the wearable business with about 20 percent of the market, was very interested in making a patch deal, with sources saying the company talked to six teams.
“We were looking for a partner that could work with us on what we do — measuring biometrics, performance, activity and sleep,” said Tim Rosa, Fitbit’s chief marketing officer. “The Timberwolves were our best fit.”
The team’s new uniforms will be unveiled as part of its rebrand later this summer.
As part of the deal, the team will provide devices to all employees, including players, basketball and business staff.
While the team hopes to experiment with player data using Fitbit at the G League level, there are no plans to do so at the NBA level.
The devices are prohibited to be used during games. In order for teams to use data from players they must have permission from the league and the players association.
Any outside sharing of player data would be subject to a $250,000 fine.
Jerseys the NBA sells nationally will not have patches on them, but Casson says the Timberwolves will sell jerseys with the Fitbit logo inside their arena.