When news dropped last week after Nike unveiled their NBA “Earned Edition” uniforms for the 16 teams who reached the 2017-18 NBA Playoffs, fans flooded social media with banter showing love for the new jerseys from Boston, to Cleveland, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, Miami, Minnesota, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Portland, San Antonio, Toronto, Utah, and Washington, who will all be wearing the new “Earned” jerseys starting on Christmas Day.
Rooted in Nike’s previous release of their NBA “City Edition”, the exclusive jerseys pay homage to each respective city landscape and the unique heritage of their organization. The collection simply breaks away from the traditional color tones and fabric patterns in some cases (the neon pink of the Miami Heat and the Prince purple tribute by the Minnesota Timberwolves), while also elevating the current style other NBA teams are historically known for (Celtics green, Portland’s “Rip City” red, Golden State yellow for example). No doubt this whole “Earned Edition” will send die-hard fans rushing to the cash register when these bad boys officially become available for purchase.
But does the concept of flipping the script on new jersey colors and designs solely fall into the NBA category? Nike may have landed a slam dunk with their collection release from the “Earned” and “City” editions, but could the Swoosh brand also score a huge touchdown by applying the same idea to the NFL (Nike owns that contract too)?
It might be a move that is best for business.
When it comes to daydreaming what NFL uniforms might look like in a “City Edition” version for all 32 teams, ultra-talented designer Jesse Alkire got an early jump on the inspired concepts and absolutely set the bar extremely high for even Nike to top. For the veteran creative director and brand consultant, the originality and marriage of honoring NFL football history jumps off the page at you complete with fresh tones, logos, and detailed script.
The winners from the Alkire’s collection?
That’s a real tough call. It was difficult to narrow down to a handful as each one grabs your attention in elaborate and new ways as you scroll through and analyze the uniform ideas. But taking time to build a theme and soundly pay tribute to the Fresh Prince (Philadelphia), Grunge music (Seattle), Prince (Minnesota), Trap music (Atlanta), could have the Nike and the NFL singing a new tune if the time comes to actually dropping their own “City Edition” versions.