Nike Sets Bar High with Connected Jerseys

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Alongside the NBA, Nike unveiled some of their newest innovations.

NIKE x NBA uniforms (Photo by Nike Basketball)

On Sept. 15th, local and international media gathered inside Sony Studios in Los Angeles for a massive unveiling. NIKE, Inc. introduced three new innovations from its partnerships with the National Basketball Association.

A video montage set the tone as future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant narrated a story of passion, technology, and growth within the sport. Large panels along the back wall then opened, revealing new white uniform renditions for each NBA franchise.

Thirty players, each representing their respective teams, walked out posing for the audience. The players were wearing Nike Therma Flex Showtime Warm-up Jackets, which will be the first hooded jacket worn on court during games this coming season.

The players then removed their jackets and revealed the Statement Edition uniforms. These bold colors and design schemes pop out at you in person and the media frenzy began.

Suddenly, the attention of the room shifted to our left as hip-hop artist Travis Scott began performing a medley of songs for the crowd.

Travis Scott performs at the Nike x NBA Launch (Photo by Michael Silver)

Shortly after his set, the press were educated on the debut of Nike’s NBA Connected Jersey.

“The first NBA jersey that gives the wearer an all-access pass into the world of their favorite team and players,” according to Nike press release.

In an effort to bring fans closer to the game, the new and innovative ‘Nike NBA Connected Jersey’ was also unveiled. The product will include an embedded chip that will launch real-time team and player content such as pregame arrival footage, highlight packages and top players’ favorite music playlists.

Fans will use their smartphones to download the NikeConnect app, which will activate the functions once the phone taps the chip on the jersey.

“When you think about basketball, you think of Nike and the NBA,” said Mark Parker, Chairman, CEO and President of NIKE, Inc. who was on hand for the private event.

“After helping fuel the sport’s impact for years, we are thrilled to now be able to push the boundaries of what’s possible directly with the NBA. From modernizing the look of the game to revolutionizing how fans can be a part of it, we can’t wait for the season to start,” he concluded.

“Nike has once again taken the game of basketball to a new level, this time with one of the most advanced jerseys in sports, ” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a separate press release.

The media were then given time to interview each player at a frenetic pace. Kevin Durant, Paul George, and Blake Griffin drew the largest crowds while other players talked freely with journalists.

The new jerseys will go on sale starting Sept. 29th online and in retail stores Oct. 12th. The NikeConnect app will launch on Sept. 29th as well. Pricing for the new Nike jerseys are set: Authentic is $200 and the Swingman is $110.

The following day select media were invited to the Galen Center, home to USC’s Trojans basketball team. We wear tested the new Lebron James XV sneaker which has not officially been given a release date. Playing full court 5-on-5 was a solid early morning workout and the shoes were very comfortable on the hardwood floor.

The Nike and NBA partnership has ceremoniously begun. If these 36 hours were any indication, basketball fans will have more access and feel engaged like never before with their respective teams.

This piece has been presented to you by SMU’s Master of Science in Sport Management.

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