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Timberwolves hire Excel Sports Management for jersey patch sale

(Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

The NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves has hired Excel Sports Management to expand the team’s search for its next jersey patch sponsor.

Excel Sports Management will serve as Minnesota’s exclusive third-party agency to help secure the new patch partner in advance of the 2020-21 NBA season.

Excel has previously negotiated four NBA jersey patch deals to-date, including deals between the Charlotte Hornets and online lending marketplace LendingTree, and the Chicago Bulls and online eyewear company Zenni Optica.

The company includes former NBA sponsorship executive Emilio Collins among its key personnel. Collins helped create the league’s pilot jersey patch sales policy before joining Excel as chief business officer in 2017.

The agency will look to engage a brand that will share the basketball club’s role in social advancement off the court through numerous platforms including partnerships with The Minneapolis Foundation and ‘Team Up for Change’ – a platform to effect change in areas of social injustice, racial inequity and systemic racism. 

Jason Miller, senior vice-president, head of properties at Excel Sports Management, said: “We see this opportunity as one of the most relevant and compelling positions available across the international sports landscape and we look forward to identifying a like-minded brand that shares the team’s values of community, innovation, and advancement.”

Ryan Tanke, chief operating officer of the Minnesota Timberwolves, described the NBA jersey patch sponsorship property as “one of the most iconic placements in modern marketing”.

Tanke highlighted the advantages of the Minnesota region for sponsors: “Minnesota is known for a lot – our four seasons, our reputation for wellness, our plethora of Fortune 500 companies, and our commitment to innovation and social advancement.”

The Timberwolves signed the club’s first ever jersey patch deal in June 2017 with the wearable technology brand Fitbit in a three-year deal.

Experts believe that values for the next round of NBA jersey patch deals will exceed the first three-year cycle, given the success of the marketing platform from 2017-18 to 2019-20.