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Volume 24 No. 117
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NBA, Nike Unveil Smart Jerseys Which Allow Fans To Access Team, Player Content

The NBA and Nike on Friday unveiled the Nike NBA Connected Jersey, which will feature an embedded near field communication chip that will launch real-time team and player content such as pregame arrival footage, highlight packages and top players' favorite music playlists on the wearer's mobile device. Fans will be asked to download the NikeConnect app and tap the jersey with their smartphone to activate the player content. The jerseys will become available online on Sept. 29. Meanwhile, the NBA and Nike also unveiled their Statement Edition uniforms and the Nike Therma Flex Showtime Warm-up Jacket, the first hooded jacket to be worn on the court during gametime. The official announcements took place at an event in L.A. attended by players from all 30 teams (NBA). ESPN.com's Darren Rovell noted content rights that were included as part of Nike's eight-year, $1B NBA apparel deal "begin this upcoming season." The connect idea "gives Nike more information than they've ever had before on any product." They will "now know who bought what player's jersey, where they live and where they scan in from." Nike VP/Digital Innovation Stefan Olander said, "We could tell LeBron how many fans of his checked in from Beijing. If you look at this as a new gateway to a connection with a consumer, you could just imagine where this goes" (ESPN.com, 9/15). TECHCRUNCH's Jonathan Shieber wrote the Nike NBA Connected Jersey's look "really, really, really good (unsurprisingly)." The jersey is a "pretty big deal that points the way forward to what connected experiences can look like when monster brands agree to partner up." The integration looks "fantastic and the opportunity to get actual exclusive offers should be compelling enough to keep folks active on the platform that Nike’s created." In the end, looks like Nike has "opened up yet another way to dominate in sports apparel" (TECHCRUNCH.com, 9/15).

TEAMING UP: In St. Paul, Dane Mizutani wrote "perhaps no team made a bigger splash" in what uniforms they will wear this season than the T'Wolves, who will occasionally wear neon green jerseys. Mizutani: "Understandably dubbed the 'Statement' partially because of it’s eye-popping color scheme" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 9/16). In San Jose, Mark Medina noted the Warriors will wear a uniform during parts of the '17-18 seasons that "highlights their current connection to Oakland" while they plan an eventual move to S.F. in two years. The team said that they will "wear Oakland-themed jerseys for most Saturday regular-season home games as well as select road contests" during the upcoming season. "The Town" will be "displayed over a circle of the City of Oakland tree logo" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 9/16).