Minneapolis-St. Paul – Today, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx proudly announced the extension and expansion of their partnership with Kraft Analytics Group (KAGR), marking a new phase of collaboration aimed at accelerating fan engagement and fostering new partner growth. The previously announced multi-year collaboration has already achieved success in leveraging cutting-edge technology and analytics to drive transformative growth and innovation within the sports industry. With the surging momentum behind the WNBA and women's sports, KAGR will dive deep into changing fan trends for the Lynx, and KAGR CEO Jessica Gelman will advise on the business front.
The past two years have seen growth on and off the court for the resurgent Wolves. Consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in two decades reignited the fan base and last season saw the most sellouts in 30 years. Due to amplified fan and partner engagement, the Wolves hit multiple franchise records during the 2022-23 season, including ticket sales, sponsorships, suites, and the signing of 19 new corporate partners.
As part of the collective vision and next phase of the partnership, the Wolves and KAGR are committed to doubling the Wolves' fan base over the next five years. To achieve this ambitious goal, they will concentrate on enhancing database and performance marketing strategies, reaching untapped demographics through persona development, audience segmentation, and deployment of sophisticated measurement tools to ensure optimal customer-product-channel alignment across owned and paid channels.
"Our partnership with KAGR continues to be an invaluable source of expertise and creativity in helping us accelerate our business,” said Timberwolves and Lynx CEO Ethan Casson. “We look forward to [continue] working closely with Jessica and her team as we enter an exciting time for both our franchises and Wolves and Lynx fans."
"The Timberwolves creativity and data-first approach has led to much success throughout our partnership, especially around ticket sales and fan engagement,” said Jessica Gelman, CEO of KAGR. "We are thrilled to expand into new marketing areas to support the organization’s fan growth goals while extending our analytics efforts as an equalizer for women and women’s sports to enrich the Lynx, our first WNBA partner, in the Minnesota community and beyond."
The Lynx have experienced substantial gains in engagement with attendance increasing by nearly 500 fans per game and TV ratings up 90 percent compared to last season. As women's athletics gain increased national attention and support, the Lynx and KAGR partnership is focused on engaging new fans with a special emphasis on the 18-35 age group, while simultaneously cultivating new brand and corporate partnerships.
This season, the Lynx have already welcomed 14 new partners, including local Fortune 1000 companies UnitedHealthcare, Pentair, and Post Consumer Brands, alongside national brands such as Microsoft and DICK’S Sporting Goods. These partnerships underscore the growing recognition of the value and potential in investing in women's sports.
With the extended partnership, the Wolves, Lynx, and KAGR are poised to not only redefine fan engagement and growth but also pave the way for greater inclusivity and recognition of women's sports on a broader stage.
KAGR (Kraft Analytics Group) is a progressive technology and service company providing data management, advanced analytics, and consulting services for the sports and entertainment industries. Whether leveraging its proprietary technology platform or partnering with its strategic services team, KAGR helps organizations become data-driven and uses those analytics to grow the bottom line. KAGR is a team of the brightest minds in sports, entertainment, and technology focused on finding insights for their clients who span across all the major six U.S. sports leagues, college athletics, and other key industry players. For more information, visit www.kagr.com.