For their new partnership with the NBA, not only is Nike providing teams with on-court uniforms, but the brand also presents an all-new pre-game garb with the Therma Flex Showtime Warm-up Jacket.
Typically, it’s been all about comfort with pre-game gear — as performance is no doubt key — but the Swoosh wanted to award players with something equally as stylish.
“We saw guys warming up in standard team-issued hooded sweatshirts,” says Kurt Parker, Nike VP of Apparel Design. “The hood flopped around when they shot; the sleeves were baggy.”
Of course, athlete input is key when designing something like this that will be player-worn night in and night out. Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal insists, “It gets cold in the arena, so we want to keep our heads warm and still be able to pay attention to the game, or warm up and stay warm. At the same time, we want to be in something with swag and style.”
The end result is the Therma Flex Showtime Warm-up Jacket, featuring a new material called Nike Therma Flex, which is similar to a mid-weight fleece, but inverted. “A typical fleece is fuzzy on the inside and flat on the outside, but we made this flat against the skin and super-soft on the outside,” notes Parker. “The outside has a dotted texture to it that traps body heat in the fabric, and it’s soft to the touch and smooth against the skin.”
In addition, the fabric stretches in every direction, enhancing player movement. Zippers have then been applied to the sides to allow for increased mobility or venting when desired. Elastic cuffs also prevent the sleeves from making their way down onto the hand.
To accommodate the hood, Nike has placed mesh over the ears so players can hear their coaches and teammates before the game, as well as to vent and keep them from overheating.
“We learned that most guys prefer to wear a hood up, but it impedes the way they can see and hear, it moves around and it can get really hot,” explains Parker.
NBA players won’t be the only ones with their hands on Nike’s new Therma Flex Showtime Warm-up Jacket, however. Fan versions will be making their way online September 29.
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For more, find out how NikeConnect will let you cop exclusive sneakers through owning an NBA jersey.