Ryan Tanke

Chief Operating Officer at 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.

Prior to the 2019-20 NBA season, Tanke played a significant role in the transformation of the Timberwolves basketball operations by assisting in the search that led to the hiring of Gersson Rosas as the team’s President of Basketball Operations. Rosas is considered one of the most innovative minds in the game today and became the first Latino President/General Manager in the history of the NBA.

Recently, Tanke helped lead a player wellness initiative that saw the team joining with James Beard-Foundation Award-winning chef Gavin Kaysen and internationally renowned culinary expert, chef, restaurateur and television personality Andrew Zimmern to partner with Mayo Clinic nutritionists to develop the team’s player nutrition program.

As Chief Revenue Officer, Tanke led the organizations surge in corporate partnerships, spearheading the extension of the team’s naming rights relationship with Target and playing a key role in the strategic partnership with Mayo Clinic and development of Mayo Clinic Square. Additionally, Tanke led the efforts to secure the team’s Founding Partnerships as well as leading the charge to secure the Timberwolves and Lynx jersey patch partnerships.

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.

Additionally, Tanke has played an integral role in resetting the Timberwolves and Lynx FastBreak Foundation’s mission and community impact programs. He continues to lead the organization’s fan experience efforts through initiatives such as Disney’s “1” Program and the team’s partnership with local chef David Fhima, making Target Center one of the most celebrated food and beverage experiences in professional sports.

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.



  • Chief Operating Officer

    Current role

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