After Major League Baseball and Nike announced their partnership to provide on-field uniforms in 2020, the relationship would help guide one of the most historic visual connections in sports: the bond between baseball club identities and their fans.
Balancing that sanctity and ingenuity in a club’s identity through creative partnership is what energizes the 2021 Nike MLB City Connect Series. The designs continue to explore a franchise’s connection to its city and its fanbase, each with distinct personalities, values, customs and traditions.
Developed in collaboration with seven inaugural clubs (Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins, San Francisco Giants), Nike MLB City Connect Series honors the history that binds club, fan, city and culture. In later seasons, the City Connect Series will appear league-wide.
“Nike is uniquely suited for our relationship with MLB because we like pushing the edges of creativity across the board, but it’s always done out of a place of supporting the players and advancing the sport,” says Sonja Henning, Nike VP, North America League Partnerships. “We take that same attentive energy in hearing insight from athletes and apply that to visualizing new and familiar relationships between clubs, cities and fans.”
Nike Arizona Diamondbacks City Connect Jersey
The Nike Arizona Diamondbacks City Connect Jersey is inspired by the Sonoran Desert’s climate and terrain. Living in what’s known as the Valley of the Sun, residents have adapted to thrive in one of the United States’ hottest climates.
The “Serpientes” graphic across the chest translates to “snakes” in Spanish. The translation honors the lasting impact of the valley’s Latin American population.
Above the jock tag, a triangular patch symbolizes the link between the team and the Valley of the Sun. The Diamondbacks’ alternate logo transforms into a V for “valley,” and at the center of the design, a red circle embodies the sun.
The Nike Arizona Diamondbacks Jersey from the Nike MLB City Connect Series releases June 13 on the Nike App and nike.com, and at the MLB Flagship Store (NYC) and select retail locations.
Nike Chicago Cubs City Connect Jersey
The Nike Chicago Cubs City Connect Jersey is inspired by all 77 of Chicago’s distinct neighborhoods. The jersey’s colors are influenced by those on the city’s flag.
On the left sleeve, a circular patch symbolizes the connectivity of Chicago’s neighborhoods. The patch is influenced by various Chicago iconography like transit tokens, the municipal device and the city’s flag.
The “Respect Our Neighborhood” detail, above the size tag, reimagines Wrigley Field’s exit sign and is also a call to action, intended to honor the uniqueness and diversity of each Chicago community.
The Chicago Cubs Jersey from the MLB City Connect Series releases June 8 on the Nike App and nike.com, and at the MLB Flagship Store (NYC) and select retail locations.
Nike Chicago White Sox City Connect Jersey
The Chicago White Sox City Connect Jersey pays tribute to the attitude of Chicago’s Southside. In 1991, the White Sox unveiled a new brand identity that aligned perfectly with their community’s hardworking, resilient attitude. The new look not only resonated on the Southside — but permeated through Hip Hop and youth culture.
The “Southside” graphic, on the jersey’s chest, reimagines the popular White Sox’ gothic-script logo to create a new font and number system.
Detailing from the White Sox’ dark-grey City Connect Jersey is inspired by the city’s Greystone architectural style.
The Chicago White Sox Jersey from the MLB City Connect Series releases June 8 on the Nike App and nike.com, and at the MLB Flagship Store (NYC) and select retail locations.
Nike Miami Marlins City Connect Jersey
The Nike Miami Marlins City Connect Jersey is an ode to Latin America’s contribution to baseball’s rich history, recognizing when the Cuban Sugar Kings’ 1959 Junior World Series victory helped open the door for future Latin American players.
“Miami” is featured utilizing the hand-painted style of the city’s Little Havana neighborhood.
The right-sleeve patch connects the Miami Marlins to the sport’s Latin American heritage and community.
The Miami Marlins Jersey from the MLB City Connect series releases May 21 on SNKRS, the Nike App and nike.com, and at the MLB Flagship Store (NYC) and select retail locations.
Nike Boston Red Sox City Connect Jersey
The Nike Boston Red Sox City Connect jersey, the first to be unveiled, is inspired by Patriots’ Day and the power of sport to unite Bostonians.
The sleeve patch, with Boston’s area code, 617, is designed to look like a race bib.
A blank space on the jock tag allows players and fans to write personalized messages.
The Boston Red Sox Jersey from the 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.