• Loading stock data...
Monday, June 24, 2024

Timberwolves Use Pop Culture to Drive Creative Direction for ‘City Edition’ Jersey

Minnesota Timberwolves

Photo credit: Minnesota Timberwolves

The NBA “City Edition” jerseys have returned to basketball arenas all across the country, and some teams included concepts that hit closer to home. For the Minnesota Timberwolves, this is particularly true, as the organization is paying tribute to rock legend and Minnesota native Prince.

By no coincidence did the Timberwolves choose to honor Prince in 2018; this year would mark the late icon’s 60th birthday.

“Targeting this season gave us the runway to celebrate that milestone and to work with the Estate and the team at Paisley Park on a few initiatives with enough time to ensure that everything could come to life in a way that Prince would have been proud of as well,” said Lindsay Milne, vice president of marketing for the Timberwolves and Lynx.

The former musician, born and raised in Minneapolis, held deep ties to the city’s sports teams, and the Timberwolves are taking full advantage of the love and opportunity.

“We had a strong feeling it would be a hit with our fans for a multitude of reasons,” Milne said. “It starts, though, with the connection between Prince and the game of basketball. Because of that organic tie, no aspect of the project has felt forced or unnatural which always translates to a win with fans.”

LISTEN: Rob Perez’s Journey from Ticketing Entrepreneur to NBA Personality

The organization exuded confidence about the decision, anticipating fans’ hype for the purple, Prince-inspired uniforms.

The Timberwolves unveiled a unique digital strategy on the day of the launch in Minneapolis to help tell the story of the uniform. But to Minneapolis and the Timberwolves, this “City Edition” jersey concept is more than a uniform, but an entire platform to activate all season.

“We pushed our teams hard to do so in a way that no other team has done before,” Milne said. “Prince was constantly breaking boundaries and we’ve tried to keep that in mind with every tactic we’ve considered.”

On “City Edition” jersey nights at the Target Center, the entire fan experience is transformed. Their belief is to truly celebrate and reflect the moment from when the doors open until the last fans leave.

“Our in-arena experience is second to none; we have custom player intros and custom outfitting for each of our entertainment groups,” said Milne. “Our music in venue has also been curated to be exclusively Prince or Prince-inspired tracks with more than 450 in total.”

[mc4wp_form id=”8260″]

As the fan experiences produce good times and the Prince story lives on, the Timberwolves still knew the jerseys had a certain momentum to be capitalized upon. So, they extended team store hours for launch day and subsequent days after, while offering them online.

“We invested in our unveil moment with a dedicated video and photo shoot to support our go to market tactics, and made a point to get the photos from that shoot in the hands of our players knowing how excited they were about the launch.”

In fact, Milne sees the Timberwolves as one of the big beneficiaries of the “City Edition” jersey program.

“We don’t have a 50-year history to lean on,” Milne said. “So, for us, having a program like this means we have a whole new set of tools to explore as we continue to tell our brand story.”

The Prince theme fits perfectly to the brand image the Timberwolves aim to construct, drawing fans from different avenues into support, and highlighting a musical legend proves a great way.

READ MORE: WNBA Teams Find Success Through Creative Partnerships

“This year, we’re using the program to celebrate the greatest of all time who chose Minnesota as his home time and time again, a sentiment which is perfectly aligned with our narrative,” Milne said. “The ‘City Edition’ jerseys will continue to be a great asset as we build on our story for years to come.”

The NBA is inherently tied to culture, passion, and fashion and the “City Edition” initiative is a unique way for each organization to express those themes in an organic way.

“Nike and the league nailed it with the ‘City Edition’ idea,” Milne added. “The ‘City Edition’ jerseys give us the chance to extend our brand reach into new demographics and introduce our experience to individuals who may have not otherwise considered the NBA as a brand that could speak to them.”

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Scheffler’s Season Earnings Could Surpass Top NFL, NBA, MLB Stars

The golfer has already won more than $27 million this season.

Finals Draw Underwhelming Viewership, but NBA Juggernaut Rolls On

The impact will be negligible on the NBA’s $76 billion media-rights talks.

Clark vs. Reese: Priciest WNBA Game Set for Record-Breaking Viewership

Ticket pricing has already set a league record, while viewership expectations are lofty.

NCAA Backs Dartmouth Against Unionizing Men’s Basketball Players

The NCAA’s quest to save its business model continues.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Clock is Ticking to Restart Coyotes’ Franchise


Featured Today

Jan 3, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of the NFL shield logo signage before the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

Odds Stacked Against NFL in Multibillion-Dollar Sunday Ticket Trial

Why the class action trial does not look promising for the league.
Jan 7, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter (11) takes a three-point shot against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Chase Center.
June 9, 2024

‘Bound to Happen’: The Age of the Sports Betting Scandal Has Arrived

A banishment, betting scheme, and guilty plea all in one scandal-filled span.
June 8, 2024

‘Experimental in Nature’: The Rapid, Confounding Rise of Streaming Bundles

Here’s why confusion continues to outweigh solutions in the streaming package boom.
June 2, 2024

The Nostalgia Market: Michael Jordan’s Memorabilia Remains Coveted, With Caveats

Due to scarcity, and sometimes, items’ undisclosed whereabouts, this world has limitations.

Everything You Need to Know About the Schism Rocking Competitive Eating

The business story about hot dogs that you never knew you needed.
May 21, 2024

Lawsuit: Florida Football Coaches Made False NIL Promises

The quarterback says UF backed out of a $13.85 million NIL agreement.
June 12, 2024

Fanatics Dives Into Ultra-Niche With G League Trading Cards

The company will take over the NBA license in 2025.

How HOKA is Reimagining the NIL Relationship

HOKA, the renowned athletic footwear and apparel brand, is betting on a new reality with NIL.
May 8, 2024

Candace Parker Joins Shaq, Iverson in Court-to-Sneaker Boardroom Pipeline

Parker was named president of Adidas women’s basketball Wednesday.
April 16, 2024

The WNBA Has Huge Ambitions as Caitlin Clark Finally Comes Aboard

Commissioner Cathy Engelbert is aware of the moment in front of the league.
March 11, 2024

WWE Borrows From UFC, Puts On-Mat Advertising in the Ring

The wrestling outfit is learning from its MMA counterpart’s playbook under the TKO Group.
Drew Brees smiling while wearing hat
December 2, 2022

Drew Brees, PointsBet Pull Off Elaborate Lightning Publicity Stunt

The video racked up over 2 million views in about 12 hours.