Storyline: Uniforms

167 rumors in this storyline

The Utah Jazz are slated to wear a color of jersey they’ve never worn as a primary color before in 2017-18: gold. League sources tell KSL.com that Nike, the NBA’s new jersey provider in the 2017-18 season, will provide a primarily gold-colored uniform for the Jazz. The jersey will be an alternate, not one of the Jazz’s primary jerseys, and may not debut until December. No mockup of the jersey is currently available.

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If there was any doubt, Wyc Grousbeck confirmed Monday morning on Toucher & Rich that we’ll never see another Celtics player don the No. 34 jersey. That will forever belong to Paul Pierce, whose 19-year NBA career came to an end Sunday afternoon when the L.A. Clippers were eliminated from the playoffs. Pierce spent 15 great seasons with the Celtics, leading the team to their 17th NBA Championship in franchise history in 2008, earning NBA Finals MVP honors in Boston’s six-game series win over the L.A. Lakers.

“There have been conversations in general by people close to him,” said Grousbeck. “But we haven’t been allowed to talk directly to Paul while he’s been playing. He’s made it clear he’ll always feel like a Celtic and this is his basketball home. I think he wants to come back. We’re a little busy right now, thank goodness, and we’ll speak to him when the time is right. “I’d like to get Danny [Ainge] and Brad [Stevens’] input on it the this offseason, and see what Paul would like to do. But he’s a finals MVP, and the last player to wear No. 34 for us.”

While Nike is set to take over the NBA apparel deal for the 2017-18 season, not all of the jerseys coming to the league next year will solely feature the Swoosh. The Charlotte Hornets confirmed this week that players on the team will wear Jordan Brand uniforms once Nike inherits the contract. In a press release posted on Monday, the team confirmed that it would be the only one in the league wearing Jordan jerseys. Michael Jordan is an owner of the Hornets and his Jordan Brand is owned by Nike, hence the connection here.

The Wizards, who have already clinched a playoff berth and can clinch their first division title since 1979 with a win or an Atlanta loss on Tuesday, announced they will wear their alternate “Stars and Stripes” uniforms for all home games during the postseason. Washington added the “Stars and Stripes” alternate to its wardrobe before the season in conjunction with the team’s “military series,” which honors a different branch of the military at six home games. The Wizards are 3-2 in the “Stars and Stripes” uniforms thus far and are scheduled to wear them one more time during the regular season, on April 4 against Charlotte.

Word came down on Tuesday that Bulls former owner Jerry Krause had died, so the team added a memorial patch, shown above, for last night’s game against the Pistons. While the patch may look simple and straightforward enough, there are actually several notable aspects to it. One at a time: 1. According to Bulls spokesman Tony Hyde, the patch is just a placeholder, with a new patch to follow for tomorrow’s game against the 76ers. Placeholder memorials aren’t unheard of, but they’re usually just simple black bands. Not sure I can recall a placeholder memorial that included typography.

The Brooklyn Nets have sold a jersey patch sponsorship to Infor, a closely held software company backed by Koch Industries Inc. The company will pay $8 million annually for the deal under the league’s three-year pilot program, according to a person familiar with the terms who asked for anonymity because the information is not public. As part of the tie-up, Infor will also provide data analytics and technology to support the team’s business operations, fan experience initiatives and player performance.

“Our alliance with Infor is a transformative partnership for both business and basketball operations and is indicative of the cutting edge and gritty culture we are building,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “The patch on the jersey represents our deep engagement with Infor and the software company’s role in taking our performance to the highest level in basketball operations and the business side. We are looking forward to joining some of the world’s most innovative brands, like Ferrari, for the unique opportunity of instilling Infor’s proven business applications into our company.”

The Boston Celtics and GE today announced a multi-year partnership in which the world’s leading digital industrial company will become the team’s exclusive Data and Analytics Partner. GE, which moved its global headquarters to Boston in 2016, will receive a number of marketing assets, including the first jersey patch partnership in the team’s history, beginning in the 2017-18 season. A key component of the relationship will center around GE’s ability to provide the 17-time NBA Champions with its best-in-class expertise, products and insights across data science, medical equipment, and lighting solutions. Terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

In announcing the partnership, Celtics president Rich Gotham said, “GE will be woven into the fabric of the Boston Celtics both literally and figuratively. Their leadership in innovation, analytics, and technology will help us to be as competitive as we can be in everything from optimizing our facilities and equipment to player performance. Simply put, GE will make us a better and smarter basketball team and organization.” “GE and the Boston Celtics both have rich histories of tradition and innovation and we’re thrilled to bring these two iconic brands together in a way that will drive further success for the team and pride in the City of Boston,” said GE Chief Marketing Officer Linda Boff. “The Celtics will become another key ally in GE’s mission to help make Boston an epicenter of tech innovation.”

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal included an article about the league’s plan to stop selling lower-priced replica jerseys at brick-and-mortar shops next season (which, as you can imagine, doesn’t matter to me one little bit), and buried within that article was the following tidbit: Nike, meanwhile, is expected to present its initial NBA jersey designs to retailers beginning this week. The company said it doesn’t plan to produce sleeved jerseys, a style debuted by Adidas in 2013 that received mixed reviews from players and fans.

On Saturday night, however, Duncan will be forced to leave his comfort zone and deliver a speech in front of a sold-out crowd as his jersey is retired and raised to the rafters. “I just think he wants to get it over with because he knew it was coming at some point,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told The Undefeated. “The sooner, the better. The quicker, the better. He probably won’t say much. He probably wishes we wouldn’t do it. “But he owes that to the fans to go out there and let them applaud him for what he’s done. He understands that.”

“You knew that day was going to come,” Spurs guard Tony Parker told The Undefeated. “It’s already unbelievable that he played 19 years, especially with his knees. It’s a great honor. Well-deserved. He’s the best power forward of all time. I can’t wait for that day. It’s going to be a great night.” Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said Duncan’s jersey retirement will be “emotional” for him. “A lot of flashbacks will come back to me because of what we went through. Most of his games were with me,” Ginobili said.

A deal with the NBA would allow Emirates to put its name on a 2.5-inch square patch on the left shoulder of the jerseys. It’s not clear how many of the league’s 30 teams the company is looking to sponsor. The Dubai-based aviation company flies to the following NBA cities: Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Toronto. The NBA declined to comment. Emirates didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Thursday, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Nick Halter wrote (subscription required) that the Wolves are getting a new logo and uniforms, quoting owner Glen Taylor as saying, “I think so. Sooner than later. No definite date has been set.” Ruiter would not confirm when the changes would take place, though logic says two things: 1) It won’t be this season, which is only a few months away from starting. 2) It would make sense to happen in 2017-18, when the renovation of Target Center is slated to be complete.

The NBA has released jersey sales numbers from the previous fiscal year, and they came somewhat of a surprise: Russell Westbrook’s jersey outsold Kevin Durant’s. According to the NBA’s release, Westbrook owned the sixth-best selling jersey this past year. Durant finished eighth. Those two, specifically, helped the Oklahoma City Thunder jump to fifth in overall merchandise sales. Of course, with Durant darting for the Golden State Warriors, that could all change in the upcoming season. It’s possible the Thunder take the biggest hit of any team to their merchandise sales.

The National Basketball Association is embarking on a two-week campaign with on-demand commerce platform Teespring to sell limited edition LGBT Pride month t-shirts. Each NBA team’s logo has been altered to display a rainbow design set on a black background. Shirts are on sale for $24.95 a piece. All proceeds from the sale of the LGBT Pride month shirts will benefit the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a national organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Its main mission is to reduce the amount of harassment that occurs at schools based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. “Support from professional sports for LGBT people has been one of the biggest cultural developments of the past five years, and the NBA has consistently led the way,” said GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard. “For LGBT fans and players alike, visibility and inclusion in the family of sports remains a key goal. The entire GLSEN family is proud of our longstanding partnership with the NBA, and excited about all of the work we are doing together to make K-12 physical education and athletics – and all of K-12 education – more inclusive and welcoming of LGBT students.”

Fans tuning in to the NBA’s Christmas Day games this winter may find themselves experiencing a sense of déjà vu. That’s because the NBA’s 2016 Christmas Day uniforms are extremely similar to last year’s Christmas designs. The 2016 Christmas set won’t be officially unveiled until later this year, but the designs are shown in an Adidas catalog that was provided to ESPN.com by an industry source. The designs utilize the same template as the 2015 Christmas uniforms — including the same chest scripts based on vintage holiday card typography, the same number font, and the same wax seal graphic on the rear collar — but with a greater emphasis on team colors.

So what can we expect from the Nets? No one is saying, but Brett Yormark has been a major proponent of the ad sales and the Nets were the first NBA team to take advantage of a league program to sell patches on practice jerseys. Back in 2009, when the Nets were still in New Jersey, they sold the rights to their practice jerseys and coaches shirts–and threw in naming rights for their East Rutherford practice facility as well. It was six figure, two-year deal. The patches, advertising PNY Technologies, were larger than what the NBA is permitting on game jerseys.

And let’s not forget who was president of NASCAR when they festooned driver’s jackets and the cars themselves with as many logos as could be fit. “Obviously, it’s a league decision, but as someone who spent seven years at NASCAR, I know the value of putting a brand on the playing field and the uniform, so it is certainly something I would support,” said Yormark back in March 2012. “You can monetize this in ways you can’t monetize any other kind of marketing inventory. And, of course, we’re in the No. 1 market in the country, so …
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