When Nike took over as the official outfitter of the NBA in 2017, they designed multiple variants of each team’s jersey, revamping the look of the entire league. The most popular variant are the City Edition jerseys, which draw inspiration from a team’s home base, pulling from local influences to create a uniform that embodies the aesthetic and boosts the brand of each city—local architecture, favorite sons, official mottos, and iconic color palettes. Explore our faves and their influences below.
The Notorious B.I.G. is one of Brooklyn’s most durable brand ambassadors, so the Nets’ city edition uni pays homage to the late rapper. The trim around the jersey references his iconic Coogi sweater and a graffiti-style “BED-STUY” (Biggie’s ‘hood) is emblazoned above the label. It’s an embodiment of the Biggie Brooklyn brand that is immediately recognizable.
Golden State Warriors
San Francisco’s long-standing connection to China is a key part of the city’s identity and defines this jersey’s overall aesthetic. The geometric pattern down the side mimics a pattern seen on Chinese currency, and the circular logo in the center is a reimagination of a traditional coin—the Mandarin characters on it spell out “Warriors.” Despite GSW’s shifting home turf, the jersey defines the teams’ brand as Bay Area staple.
Nothing screams brand identity like a throwback that everyone remembers. The Nuggets’ rainbow skyline was retired 25 years ago, but as soon as the 2018 City Editions were released, they sold out at the Nuggets’ arena store within a day. The new design features stripes that mimic elevation lines seen on topographic maps, and the “5280” over the label is the city of Denver’s height above sea level.
Prince wasn’t only a talented musician, he was an accomplished ambassador of his own brand, which he cultivated over his 40 year career. He associated himself with a color (purple), and dressed in unforgettable outfits. The Timberwolves’ jerseys pay homage to the man and the brand that was Prince—the font mimics the Purple Rain album cover, a paisley pattern adorns the shorts, and the metallic shoulder patch nods to the legend’s famous studded blazer.
Philadelphia has a deep connection to America’s revolutionary history, and the 76ers’ City Edition doesn’t drop the ball. The off-white stars are the color of the paper the Declaration of Independence was written on, and represent the 13 original United States colonies. The infamous “Join or Die” snake is hidden on the shorts, and the heather grey honors the most famous Philadelphia-based flick—Rocky. Philly’s pride runs deep and this redesign further aligns the 76ers’ brand and the city’s inhabitants.