Minnesota Timberwolves announce jersey patch changing, layoffs

Glen Taylor, owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who fired Gersson Rosas on Wednesday. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Glen Taylor, owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who fired Gersson Rosas on Wednesday. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

There may not be a ton of on-the-court news related to the Minnesota Timberwolves, but there is plenty going on over on the business side.

The Minnesota Timberwolves‘ exclusion from the NBA’s 22-team re-start in Orlando later this summer means that fans will have to wait even longer for real, on-the-court basketball news.

Nonetheless, the Timberwolves front office is making waves.

Late last week, it was reported that the organization was laying off 18 staffers across the Timberwolves, Lynx, Iowa Wolves, and T-Wolves Gaming, in addition to reducing salary for full-time staff.

Among those who is no longer with the organization is Kyle Ratke, who has done a fantastic job over many years in charge of the Wolves’ website content. There were several others on the media and communications side let go as well, per their own announcements on Twitter.

Obviously, our thoughts are with those who lost their jobs. It’s a tough time for all sports organizations, and in turn, their employees. Kyle and the others who were let go have been fantastic, and we wish them all the best.

Elsewhere on the business side, the Minnesota Timberwolves announced that Fitbit will no longer be the team’s jersey sponsor. According to CNBC, Fitbit is in the process of being acquired by Google, and at the end of the three-year deal the Wolves have a very specific type of partner that they’re looking to sign.

"[Timberwolves] COO Ryan Tanke told CNBC the club is looking for a sponsor that will help “create impact in our community” and “be a champion for social advancement” as the Minnesota community continues to heal following the death of George Floyd.…“What we’ve learned is it’s much more than just a physical patch, and that’s certainly the most visible expression of the relationship,” Tanke said. “But if we find the right partner, it truly becomes an extension of our organization.”"

The article goes on to say that the Wolves are working with management and marketing agency Excel Sports to help them find the right match.

Kudos to the Wolves for being so focused in a single direction with this decision. Obviously, the major driving force behind who they ultimately end up working with in 2020-21 and beyond will be financials, but finding a company with genuine values and a desire to make a social difference is an awesome goal to have.

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We’ll keep an eye on the jersey patch sponsor search, as we’re all waiting to find out what the next brand will be that is emblazoned on the shoulder of all Minnesota Timberwolves jerseys.