Opening Day 2021 is barely a week behind us, as the new MLB season got off to an exciting start on April 1. To coincide with the start of the new season, and to celebrate their ongoing partnership, MLB and Nike have unveiled the City Connect Series.
The MLB City Connect Series is a collection of jerseys that — much like the NBA’s City Edition jerseys — offer a fresh new take on the regular team jerseys while highlighting a specific part of the team, fanbase, a city’s history, and its traditions.
To kick off the City Connect Series, seven clubs have been chosen as the inaugural partners of the collection: the Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins, San Francisco Giants. Nike and MLB plan to roll out the series league-wide in later seasons.
Ahead of the collection’s launch, Highsnobiety had the chance to dig deeper in a chat with Wil Green, Nike’s senior creative director. Find the conversation below.
Tell us a bit about City Connect and the impetus behind it. We already so closely associate baseball jerseys with the cities they are from. So how do you go about making that bond even closer?
“Nike MLB City Connect Series celebrates the bond between a club and its city. In close collaboration with the clubs, we stepped outside of the game and looked at their community, fans, and the key moments that connect them. These city insights helped us push the boundaries of baseball uniform design by bringing in details, colors, mottos, and more that are important to the city. They may step outside of what the team is known for but they matter the most to their community — not just baseball.”
Talk to us about the Red Sox jersey you guys designed and the inspiration behind it.
“For the Nike Boston City Connect Jersey, the Red Sox wanted to celebrate a moment that united all Bostonians, which is Patriots’ Day. This is a holiday where sport and culture collide to honor the spirit of champions. The Red Sox saw the color, golden yellow, as an important color for Patriots’ Day and it represents victory and championships. The shoulder patch calls out Fenway Park’s area code of 617 and above the size tag we left a blank space for players and fans to put inspirational messages.”
Sox fans in particular are very orthodox about their sports culture. Did it worry you guys to change the team colors so drastically? And what was the idea behind those colors?
“We developed all of the Nike MLB City Connect Series uniforms with the clubs. We worked together on every part of the designs and felt confident about the finished uniforms because it was based on each club’s knowledge of their city. We expect baseball fans and each city’s citizens will gravitate to the jerseys because each club is honoring and celebrating what makes their home special.”
The Nike Boston Red Sox jersey from the Nike MLB City Connect series releases April 6 on SNKRS, the Nike App and nike.com, and at the MLB Flagship Store (NYC) and select retail locations.