The game is changing right in front of our eyes, and the New MLB City Connects are going to be a huge part of it.
Two years ago a billion-dollar deal brought two of America’s most synonymous brands together; Major League Baseball and NIKE.
This new age era of baseball acknowledges showmanship and flair in the game as an important part of MLB’s future. Bat flips, dugout celebrations, and even pitchers breaking out their best dance moves after strikeouts on a nightly basis have been fun to watch.
On the other side, we have seen NIKE becoming the official uniform brand of both the NBA and NFL recently.
In January of 2019, NIKE announced a billion-dollar deal that included $3 million in the pockets of each team, bringing the swoosh to all baseball jerseys in 2020.
This morning, baseball unveiled one of 7 teams that City Connects collections will be fitting this year.
In a statement, NIKE announced these jerseys would honor each team’s city, history, fans and culture. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs and White Sox, LA Dodgers, Florida Marlins and Giants will be releasing their looks at a later date.
One of the most iconic franchises, Boston Red Sox were up first, and in my eyes, hit a home run with their Boston Marathon-themed fashion choice.
The idea behind City Connect is that the jerseys explore, not just a team’s historic look, but something significant about that team’s broader hometown and culture. For the Miami Heat, Nike created a blue and pink, 1980s neon throwback for the team that screamed Don Johnson, bucking tradition for the otherwise red, black, and yellow franchise. The strategy has worked well. Nike’s Miami Heat jersey became the best selling jersey in the NBA in several seasons, according to Nike.
These jerseys stray away from the normal Red Sox white and blue, choosing to go with blue yellow jerseys in honor of the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
The yellow is complemented with the word “Boston” across the chest in blue. The city area code 617 is on the sleeve.
The new looks are going to take some getting used to. Baseball’s color schemes continue to evolve out of the traditional looks, but we have seen these types of designs recently with the NBA City collection jerseys in recent years.
“Nike is uniquely suited for our relationship with the MLB because we like pushing the edges of creativity across the board, but it’s always done out of a place of supporting the players and advancing the sport,” said Nike Vice President of North America League partnerships Sonja Henning.
Although we are not sure when the next team’s jerseys will be released, we do know the dates that they will debut on the field.
The Red Sox will be worn April 17th, Florida Marlins May 21st, Chicago Cubs June 12th, Arizona D-Backs June 18th and San Francisco Giants on July 9th.
The White Sox and MLB Bro Tim Anderson will be wearing their new drip on June 5th in a Saturday night matchup against the hottest young talent in baseball, Akil Baddoo, and the Detroit Tigers.
2018 MVP and multiple World Series champion Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers will rock theirs in late August.
I’m ready to see these jerseys on the field. Like it or not a cultural change is coming to MLB and these classic jerseys will be a major part of the process.