HOW MINNESOTA'S TEAM BECAME THE TIMBERWOLVES
Minnesota's expansion team was officially dubbed the "Timberwolves" in December of 1986, nearly three years before the first game would be played on November 3, 1989, and four months before the NBA officially granted Minnesota a team. After original owners Harvey Ratner and Marv Wolfenson submitted a formal expansion proposal to the NBA Board of Governors in October of 1986, they held a "Name the Team" contest that drew 6,076 entries from across the state featuring 1,284 different proposed nicknames. The two most common submissions, Timberwolves and Polars, were deemed finalists and the 842 city councils in Minnesota were asked to submit their vote for the winner. "Timberwolves" was selected by a 2-to-1 margin. Timberwolves was a fitting name for Minnesota's new team, as the state is home to the largest wolf population in the U.S. and the International Wolf Center, a comprehensive wolf research facility, is located in Ely, Minnesota.
1989-90 THROUGH 1995-96 SEASONS
Similar to the naming contest, the Timberwolves held a public contest to select the team's first logo. After receiving over 2,600 submissions, some coming from as far away as Alaska and Norway, the team settled on a design submitted by Mark Thompson of Austin, Minnesota. Original Team President Bob Stein described the winning submission as "aggressive, but not sinister." The logo was first unveiled to the public on an oversized $20,000 check that the team donated to the United Way on September 17, 1987.
1996-97 THROUGH 2007-08 SEASONS
Amid a display of lasers and smoke at the Mall of America's main rotunda, the Wolves turned the page on the franchise's expansion days by unveiling this new look on May 18, 1996. Owner Glen Taylor described the new logo, designed by L.A.- based Mednick Design Group, as "a step towards being more competitive, more aggressive." The new design featured a metallic color scheme and a more ferocious, intimidating wolf.
2008-09 THROUGH 2015-16 SEASONS
In honor of the Timberwolves' 20th season of play, the team's logo underwent a facelift to usher in a new era of Wolves basketball. Designed with assistance from Adidas, the new version features a white accent on the face of the wolf along with a sleeker look for the tree line and text. Beginning with the 2008-09 season, the Wolves also feature a new secondary logo depicting a wolf howling at the moon with a basketball in the background. The inclusion of the basketball pays homage to the original Wolves logo, which also featured a basketball background.
A NEW ERA
On April 11th, 2017, the Timberwolves unveiled their new logo – just the second major overhaul of brand identity in franchise history. Created by Mississippi-based design expert Rodney Richardson of RARE Designs, the new logo features a howling wolf facing forward, the iconic North Star and the new Timberwolves wordmark featuring the Team Rune "A." The logo's color scheme reflects a sense of place, with each color in the palette tied to a part of the Minnesota landscape. Colors include Midnight Blue, Aurora Green, Frost White, Moonlight Grey and Lake Blue.