In case you missed it, the Red Sox unveiled new ‘Nike City Connect’ uniforms on Tuesday that the team will wear on Patriots’ Day weekend later this month.
The new uniform, which was inspired by the Boston Marathon, “adopts colors that honor the spirit of Patriots’ Day weekend, and features ‘Boston’ in a stencil font across the chest paying tribute to the Boylston Street finish line. The numbers ‘617’ are highlighted on the left sleeve as a nod to the area code for Boston and Fenway Park. The numbers appear within a racing bib, honoring one of the city’s most iconic annual sports traditions.”
These new, special edition threads have been the talk of the town since they were revealed, and Red Sox manager Alex Cora is among those who are in favor of them, citing that they could help boost Major League Baseball’s popularity.
“You look around the other leagues, and they’re proactive, right? And they’re marketing not only the teams, but their players,” Cora said during his pregame media availability Tuesday. “If you look at the NBA, it seems like once every day, you’ve got a different uniform. So I’m all for it.”
Nike, which took over as MLB’s official uniform provider last season, has been doing the same for the NBA since 2017.
Upon becoming the official uniform and apparel provider for the NBA and its 30 franchises, Nike began rolling out ‘City Edition’ uniforms for teams that serve the purpose of being “windows into a city’s culture,” per the company’s vice president of North America league partnerships Sonja Henning.
The Boston Celtics, for instance, have worn four different ‘City Edition’ uniforms over the last four seasons, with each uniform encapsulating the spirit of the Celtics and/or the city of Boston to some degree.
And not that it all has to do with the uniforms their players are wearing, but the NBA has proven to be a more effective marketer of its product and players than Major League Baseball has in recent years. This is something Cora would like to see MLB improve upon.
“I think this league has been lacking pushing their players out there and marketing them,” said the Sox skipper. “We have some good ones right now, and we have some good ones here in our city. For them to use a different uniform, hopefully it’s the beginning of something cool. And people can recognize these guys — not because of the uniform — but just because of who they are. I think this is a great idea and I’m looking forward for that weekend to wear those two uniforms.”
The Red Sox will be the first of seven clubs to don City Connect uniforms this season, with the Diamondbacks, Cubs, White Sox, Dodgers, Marlins, and Giants joining in at different points throughout the year.
Boston will wear the uniforms on April 17 and 18 for two games against the White Sox, then go with the traditional white “B Strong” jerseys on Patriots’ Day Monday, as they have every year since 2013.
(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Nike)