Feb 10, 2021 7:30 AM
Ryan Tanke, COO
Minnesota Timberwolves

Ryan Tanke is entering his 23rd season with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx and second as Chief Operating Officer. He previously was the Chief Revenue Officer for six seasons. Prior to that, he served as the Senior Vice President of Ticket Sales and Premium Seating. In addition to his time with the Timberwolves and Lynx, Tanke also spent two seasons with the San Diego Chargers as their Director of Ticket and Suite Sales.

As Chief Operating Officer, Tanke serves on the organization’s Executive Team charged with setting the strategic direction for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Lynx, the Iowa Wolves, and T-Wolves Gaming, a member of the NBA’s 2K League. Tanke oversees the Timberwolves and Lynx sales and service areas including ticket sales, premium seating, and corporate partnerships. He’s also charged with leading the organization’s communications, business intelligence, fan experience and Basketball Academy areas. In his role, Tanke is responsible for Timberwolves and Lynx broadcast relationships, including the teams’ partnerships with Fox Sports North, WCCO Radio, and the Timberwolves Radio Network.

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In an effort to re-establish Target Center’s resurgence in Downtown Minneapolis, Tanke was part of the six-person design team tasked with re-imagining the 27-year old arena and transforming the fan experience as part of the $150 million renovation. The success of the project resulted in a nomination for the Sports Business Journal’s 2018 Facility of the Year and was chosen as Minnesota’s Finance and Commerce Top Project of 2017. Target Center renovation has provided his leadership team new and expanded premium spaces including the launch of Club T.I. on the Treasure Island Resort & Casino Premium Level, TCL Theater Boxes and 612 Lounge, the Lexus Courtside Club and the Grant Thornton Chairman’s Club.

In addition to his revenue-generating focus, Tanke leads the emphasis on technology for the franchise, partnering to create and launch the team’s industry leading mobile app, while stressing the role of data and analytics in better serving fans and driving business decisions. Under Tanke’s leadership, Laura Meyer the teams’ Vice President of Business Intelligence, was named one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Tanke has helped coordinate the organization’s internal and external response including its focus around employee safety and well-being. During this time, Tanke and his team worked to maintain and strengthen key relationships throughout every aspect of our business. He was a key voice in the organization’s efforts surrounding social justice efforts and was a leader in the business community when it came to showcasing how the organization was bringing social change to its operations and in the community.

As the organization begun preparations ahead of the start of the 2020-21 NBA season, Tanke has led the organization’s recent return to play efforts including the transformation of Target Center and development of overall safety protocols. He has worked with the NBA along with state and local officials as the organization continues to prioritize the safety of its players, staff, and guests as it begins this unprecedented season.

Tanke earned a business management degree from St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota. He is actively involved in the Timberwolves and Lynx FastBreak Foundation and is a longtime supporter Twin Cities Boys and Girls Club and Big Brother Big Sisters while also currently serving on the board of directors of the Minneapolis Downtown Council. A La Crosse, Wisconsin native, Tanke currently resides in Minnetrista with his wife, Lindsey, their daughter, Charli and son, Tristan.