April 21, 2024 

What a new jersey patch partnership means for the Minnesota Lynx

Lynx expect their 2024 season to have a record-breaking level of corporate partnerships

MINNEAPOLIS — It’s been a week of exciting additions for the Minnesota Lynx as they march closer to the start of the 2024 WNBA season. The Lynx have been busy adding talent to the roster, drafting Alissa Pili out of Utah (No. 8 overall) and Kiki Jefferson out of Louisville (No. 31 overall) on Monday. They also announced the return of Italian international Cecilia Zandalasini, who last played for the team in 2018, on Friday.

Continue reading with a subscription to The Next

Get unlimited access to women’s basketball coverage and help support our hardworking staff of writers, editors, and photographers by subscribing today.

Join today

But talented players aren’t the only additions the Lynx made this week. The team also announced a new jersey patch partner, Federated Insurance, on Monday. It’s a Minnesota-based mutual insurance company that has been a corporate partner of the Lynx for 20 years. This partnership is one of the longest-standing pillars for the entire Lynx and Timberwolves organization.

Headquartered approximately 65 miles south of the Target Center in Owatonna, Minnesota, Federated has many local partnerships with the Lynx. Its annual Federated Challenge is one of the state’s largest philanthropic efforts and has raised $52 million for Big Brothers Big Sisters Minnesota, an organization that offers one-on-one mentoring programs for children as young as five. The Lynx have been involved in the Challenge for 20 years, according to the team’s press release.

“We’ve been partnered in that endeavor for a long time, and so this [is an] opportunity to look at the Lynx jersey as a way to certainly promote the great stuff that Federated is doing,” Lynx and Timberwolves chief operating officer Ryan Tanke told The Next. “But it’s also an opportunity for us to look at it as a platform to further amplify our efforts with Big Brothers Big Sisters and how we’re going to really impact kids together in Minnesota.”

The Next, a 24/7/365 women’s basketball newsroom

The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited and photographed by our young, diverse staff and dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives and projections about the game we love.

The Lynx and Federated unveiled the patch and its place on the Lynx jerseys this week at an event in Owatonna. A clinic for Owatonna youth basketball players featuring Lynx players Diamond Miller and Courtney Williams punctuated the event. 

“The local piece is really meaningful for us,” Lynx and Timberwolves senior vice president of corporate sponsorship David King told The Next. “By having a jersey patch partner based in Minnesota, there’s a lot more we’re able to do and take advantage of. This matters when it comes to investing in the community. It certainly feels even more purposeful with a [company like] Federated, where they invest a lot of their time, energy and effort right here locally.

“What really started the discussion with Federated was that the patch is sewn into the fabric of the team, right over the heart of the player. There’s some meaning behind it. It’s really a physical representation of the purpose of why we work together. And it creates an opportunity for us to tell that story.”

Add Locked On Women’s Basketball to your daily routine

Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

The patch will appear on the upper left corner of all Lynx jerseys for this season and beyond. The Mayo Clinic, also based in Minnesota, will continue as a jersey partner as well. Its logo will remain on the front of Lynx jerseys below the number. 

“Obviously, when you have a partner like Mayo Clinic that’s on the jersey, you’ve got to put the right brand and the right company associated with it,” Tanke said. “We have the Mayo Clinic, the Minnesota Lynx and a company like Federated. We couldn’t be more proud of just the way in which we’re showing up each game with those partners.”

The continued partnership with Federated marks the beginning of what Tanke forecasts to be a record-breaking season in corporate sponsorship for the Lynx. This comes after a very successful calendar year of partnership activation: The team has added corporate activations with 17 companies since the beginning of 2023.

“When you think of the run that the Lynx have had over the past 10 to 15 years and the record level of support that’s happening from a corporate partnerships and sponsorship side, [it] is really pretty incredible,” Tanke said. “It’s blue-chip brands that are aligning their company and using the Minnesota Lynx as a vehicle to amplify their company and brands. It’s a pretty awesome thing to see.”

Get 24/7 soccer coverage with The Equalizer

The Next is partnering with The Equalizer to bring more women’s sports stories to your inbox. Subscribe to The Next now and receive 50% off your subscription to The Equalizer for 24/7 coverage of women’s soccer.

Written by Terry Horstman

Terry Horstman is a Minneapolis-based writer and covers the Minnesota Lynx beat for The Next. He previously wrote about the Minnesota Timberwolves for A Wolf Among Wolves, and his other basketball writing has been published by Flagrant Magazine, HeadFake Hoops, Taco Bell Quarterly, and others. He's the creative nonfiction editor for the sports-themed literary magazine, the Under Review.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.