Timberwolves Public Relations and Marketing Teams Take Home Top Industry Honors
Minneapolis-St. Paul – The Minnesota Timberwolves were recently recognized by several award programs, both locally and globally, for their public relations and marketing efforts around the team’s “New Era” and “All Eyes North” campaigns.
The team was awarded a Gold SABRE in the “Entertainment” category at the 2018 North America SABRE Awards, in partnership with agency Olson Engage. SABRE stands for superior achievement in branding, reputation and engagement. The SABRE Awards, hosted by The Holmes Report, is the world’s biggest PR awards program dedicated to benchmarking the best PR work from across the globe. Public relations executives from the Timberwolves and from Olson Engage were on hand to accept the honor at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City on Tuesday, May 1.
Locally, the team received two top honors at the Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards in the “Multimedia” category for the PR efforts around the video used to unveil the team’s logo and in the “Social Content Series” category for the series of videos with logo designer Rodney Richardson which explained different elements of the new branding.
At The Show 2018, an advertising awards show through the Minnesota chapter of AdFed, the Wolves, alongside agency partner Friends & Neighbors, took home gold in the “Voiceover” category for their All Eyes North television commercial. The spot also took home silver in cinematography and art direction, and bronze in the “Local TV Commercial” category. The art direction went on to win silver at the district level Addy Awards, and has been submitted for a national AdFed Award.
The All Eyes North campaign also won silver in the “Integrated Advertising Campaign” category, which went on to win gold at the district level and has now been submitted for the national AdFed Awards. Elements of the campaign were recognized as well, with the new logo microsite receiving a silver award and a bronze award for both the logo unveil video and the design of the new mark.
The New Era campaign was a multi-layered effort constructed to reveal numerous elements of positive change throughout the Timberwolves organization in the last 12 months. The project began with a promotional phase for the team’s new logo unveil near the end of the 2016-17 regular season. The constant drumbeat of media outreach, content creation, and interviews for several weeks leading up to the April 11, 2017 reveal on Fan Appreciation Night proved to be an optimal launching pad for other segments of the campaign.
During the offseason, the team was able to create footprints at events that provided additional touchpoints, including a live mural painting at Art-A-Whirl in Minneapolis and ribbon-cutting events at outdoor courts throughout the state of Minnesota refurbished by the team to consistently remind fans of the “New Era” of Timberwolves basketball.
Other highlights of the campaign included separate unveilings of the team’s new uniforms and new court design, culminating with the re-opening of the newly remodeled Target Center. The arena, which was the source of the Wolves producing one of the best home records in the NBA in 2017-18 at 30-11, was recently named a nominee for Sports Business Journal’s Sports Facility of the Year award.
The team was able to deliver on the promise of a “New Era” of Timberwolves basketball exactly one year after the reveal, as they clinched the organization’s first playoff berth in 14 seasons with a 112-106 win over the Denver Nuggets at the regular-season finale on April 11, 2018. The Timberwolves celebrated many notable elements of success during the 2017-18 season, including 18 home sellouts, increased attendance of 15%, TV viewership up by 78%, a 25% increase in corporate partnerships, a 20% increase in their full season ticket member base, and a 70% jump in merchandise sales.