Disney and Fitbit Become Jersey Sponsors for NBA’s Magic and Timberwolves
The Walt Disney Company has been an undeniably enviable cash cow since its 1923 founding, with numerous cinematic hits, including March’s “Beauty and the Beast” (which has grossed more than $1.25 billion and whose beloved “Be Our Guest” contains the lyric “put our magic to the test”) to its name. Come the fall, the entertainment behemoth will give National Basketball Association teams a literal opportunity to take that suggestion, as it announced yesterday that it will serve as jersey sponsor for the Orlando Magic. It joins consumer electronics titan Fitbit, which is hoping to help the Minnesota Timbewolves to howl with delight, as the seventh and eighth entities to assist an NBA squad.
Disney, whose ownership of ESPN, the rights holder for league broadcasts for the next eight years, means the backed ballers might put many spells on viewers, is supporting a unit that tallied a 29-53 mark last season. The Eastern Conference constituent has considerable talent and figures to add a key contributor when making the sixth selection in tonight’s draft. Disney, therefore, is showing local love as the team tries to establish itself as a contender after five straight losing campaigns.
“With Orlando as our hometown, magic has always been a key strand to our DNA,” chief executive officer Alex Martins said. “This expanded agreement with Disney brings our story full circle and represents the coming together of two dynamic organizations that have become synonymous with Orlando.”
Though the partners and the league have not made the financial terms available, it does not take a crystal ball to realize this will be a lucrative union. Disney, presently racing even farther outside of the competition’s sight thanks to “Cars 3,” will, like its predecessors, have its name emblazoned on a two-and-a-half-inch by two-and-a-half-inch jersey patch, but it will add to its aura by having a branded special seating and hospitality area within the team’s Amway Center. Add the selling of annual Walt Disney World passes and jerseys bearing its logo to the mix, and fans will find themselves utterly enchanted. If the athletes can entrance a few more foes, the sponsor can live up to the sentiment “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun” from its 1964 film “Mary Poppins.”
Fitbit is stepping outside its San Francisco environs to support the Timberwolves, another up-and-coming club who will pick right after the Magic tonight. The North Star State hoopsters registered a 31-51 ledger last year and are hoping that their lottery acquisition will help them show their teeth more consistently.
Like the Disney-Magic pairing, the Fitbit-Timberwolves combination will connect the two for three years. Given that the Western Conference team will also have a new logo, this figures to be an eye-catching season for star Karl-Anthony Towns and his peers.
“With many synergies between our two organizations, Fitbit is the ideal partner for our first-ever jersey patch,” chief executive officer Ethan Casson said of connecting with the company known for its fitness trackers. “As a business, we are taking a fresh look at technology and innovation, and partnering with a company that also values the importance of data and analytics will serve us both well in the years to come.”
That emphasis on analysis will find Fitbit serving as the squad’s official sleep tracker, too, a feat it will repeat for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx and the Iowa Wolves, the Gatorade League affiliate for the Timberwolves. The league has yet to release the 2017-2018 schedule, but one can bet, thanks to Disney and Fitbit, that when the Timberwolves and the Magic face off, the former will be well-rested, and the latter will want to mystify its opponent.