For those wondering when Nike would start to make its mark in the Major Leagues, wonder no more. After previously presenting “ColorRush” and Uniforms of the “city” For the NFL and NBA respectively, this morning Nike launched its new “City Connect” series in the world of baseball.
Only one team will see their new City Connect kit unveiled today at the launch, the Boston Red Sox. After this, the show will slowly expand throughout the rest of the league over the course of several seasons.
“Developed in partnership with MLB Clubs, the Nike MLB City Connect series celebrates the bond between each team and their city,” reads the jointly released statement accompanying the announcement. “The uniform series explores the personality, values and customs that make each community and its residents unique. Drawing on the rich heritage of each club, the City Connect series pushes the boundaries of baseball uniform design to create new traditions and help grow the game of baseball. “
Today it’s just the Boston Red Sox, but as the 2021 season progresses six more teams will be revealed: the Miami Marlins will be followed by the Chicago White Sox, the Chicago Cubs, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the San Giants. Francisco and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“This process began with our desire to collaborate between clubs and Nike to tell new stories and bring new narratives to teams that are meaningful to the community and players,” Nike Senior Creative Director Wil Green said in a conversation. with SportsLogos.net. “This is how we start each project with this series. We have a conversation with the team and we ask what is important to the team? To the fans? To the players? And then start unpacking what is meaningful to them. “
Yes, we will see several more Major League Baseball teams, in addition to the seven launching in 2021, join the program and begin to introduce their City Connect uniforms in subsequent seasons. Each of these new uniforms can (and presumably will be) worn multiple times throughout the year and will be maintained and worn for a period of three seasons.
“We decided to stagger the release of the jerseys with a limited quantity, rather than do the entire league at once. In this way, we can truly let the teams celebrate the stories they will reveal and give them the opportunity to celebrate their uniqueness through these uniform programs, ”Green said. “Next year, it will see more teams deploy, but it will really give them the space and a chance to breathe.”
Turning our attention now to the Boston Red Sox and their new uniform released today, it was the city’s annual Patriots Day celebration that inspired the brand’s strikingly different City Connect uniform. Yellow T-shirts with light blue caps, wordmark “Boston” stamped across the chest [inspired by the finish line of the Boston Marathon] he is light blue in color with a marathon runner bib on his sleeve [containing Fenway Park’s 617 area code] in a rectangle of horizontal stripes in black, white and light blue. On the back of the jersey is only the player’s number (no name), the numbers are not in standard Red Sox font and are light blue with a white shadow. The only visually apparent hint that these are * the * Red Sox is the inclusion of the familiar “B” of the team on the cap, colored to match the jersey.
“We wanted to do something bold and different,” Boston Red Sox CMO Adam Grossman told SportsLogos.net. “We thought this presented an opportunity to do something that we had never done before. We spoke to Nike early, raised our hands when they announced the deal with baseball and said, ‘We want to partner with you, we want to do something completely different. We love our history, we love our connection to the city, but we are also willing to do something that is bold and in a very different direction. ‘
The Red Sox have barely changed their overall appearance over the years. Aside from a few minor adjustments to the cut of the jersey and the occasional change from a red cap to a blue (and that one year was white!), the home uniform it has remained relatively the same since 1936. The road uniform has seen more changes, but it has always been a gray jersey with BOSTON arched across the front in blue or red lettering for the past 89 seasons.
So why the sudden change to yellow and light blue?
“We were looking for that moment that brought all Bostonians together and Patriot Day was really the main point of inspiration through this process with the Red Sox,” Green told us. “It’s about the yellow and the blue that bind the city to that moment. Of course, everyone knows that the finish line is that yellow and blue, and that Patriot Day color was really where that yellow and blue came from to bring this jersey to life. “
“Patriot Day weekend is a unique weekend in Boston,” Grossman said, “and there’s nothing like it the rest of the year.”
Patriots Day is an annual holiday celebrated on the third Monday in April in five US states (including Massachusetts), held to commemorate the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the Battle of Menotomy, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. In Boston, the holiday is also observed in conjunction with the Boston Marathon race, which has been celebrated on Patriots Day every year (not COVID) since 1897.
With the strong inspiration from Patriot Day, it should come as no surprise that the uniform makes its debut on the field during that long weekend in Boston. The Red Socks will host the other sock-focused baseball team, the Chicago White Sox on Saturday, April 17, and then wear them again on Sunday, the 18th. Patriot Day “Boston Strong” Uniforms he will be back for his game on Monday morning.
Boston’s City Connect uniform doesn’t stop with the new jersey and cap, a new pair of pants, socks and shoes were specially designed to match each team’s ensemble. The Red Sox will wear yellow socks with blue and white stripes and a blue “B”. The team is familiar hanging socks logo with EST. 1901 around it is added to the back of the socks, giving this uniform set its only trace of red throughout. Pants are white with light blue stripes and matching belt, and shoes will be light blue / yellow.
“Some [City Connect uniform] colors, it may not be that traditional, but it opens up the conversation to tell the story in a really powerful and meaningful way, ”Green added when asked about the departure from the typical Red Sox look with this design. “This uniform brings a new conversation with the existing fan, but also invites new fans into a conversation to really celebrate this moment with Patriots Day, which brings the entire community together. I hope the fans really understand what this show is trying to do by trying to bring the city together in a new way. “
“These were not designed for traditionalists, we recognize that they may not be to everyone’s liking, and we agree with that,” Grossman said. “That’s something we talked about with Nike, they said ‘These are designed to go the extra mile and it’s okay to acknowledge that not everyone is going to like these.’ They are not meant to replace our day-to-day uniforms, we are not going from the Red Sox in white, red and blue to yellow and light blue, we are not going to change our colors. This is a compliment to what we are doing, not a replacement. “
In addition to authentic jerseys and replicas, matching Red Sox sweatshirts, jerseys and other merchandise will be available in retail stores starting today at mlbshop.com.
We will see the other six teams present their City Connect uniforms in the coming months and while no dates have been set for their presentation yet, we know when they will make their debut on the field. The Miami Marlins will debut with theirs on May 21, the White Sox on June 5, the Cubs on June 12, the Diamondbacks on June 18, the Giants on July 9 and the Los Angeles Dodgers will finish things off in sometime in late August.