NBA Debuts Connected Fan Jerseys

In an age of Instagram and Snapchat, fans want to be even closer and more connected to the athletes they admire. Towards the end of last week, NIKE, in collaboration with the NBA, announced the NIKE NBA Connected Jersey, the first NBA jersey that gives the wearer an all-access pass into the world of their favourite team and players.

Using NIKE technology, each jersey has an embedded NFC chip that, when scanned with a mobile phone, will launch real-time content on the user’s mobile phone, including pre-game footage, highlight packages, and players’ favourite music playlists. The NikeConnect app will also deliver exclusive fan offers and experiences.

“In our new connected era, NIKE will lead with products that build a relationship with our consumers,” said Trevor Edwards, President, NIKE Brand. “With NikeConnect, we deliver to basketball fans everywhere the personal and premium experiences we know they love.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a connected fan jersey. Last year, Billie Whitehouse and her team at Wearable X developed the Football Fan Shirt for The Superbowl. Rather than delivering content, the shirt delivered vibrations to the wearer in the form of haptic feedback that would rumble according to the player’s movements on the field.

We’ve also seen Avery Dennison and NYC designer Rochambeau experimenting with connected clothing experiences. Using RFID, mobile, and sensor-based technology, Rochambeau produced the BRIGHT BMBR jacket, a bomber that unlocks different city-based experiences such as museum tours and backstage passes. Avery Dennison has also announced “Born Digital,” their initiative to digitize ten billion items of apparel and footwear in the next few years.

What’s clear is that we’re beginning to rethink the relationship between clothing, content, and consumers. By leveraging leading sensor and mobile technology, clothing is no longer just a symbolic connection but a digital one that can unlock future experiences.

Feature image via NIKE.

Amanda Cosco
Amanda Cosco is a Fashion Futurist and the founder of Electric Runway

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