WNBA unveils new Nike jerseys: A behind-the-scenes look

Breanna Stewart in her new Nike uniform. (screenshot)
Breanna Stewart in her new Nike uniform. (screenshot) /

Earlier this week, I had a chance to get an up-close view of Nike’s new WNBA uniforms, a process nearly two years in the making.

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For Keri Lenker, NBA Senior Manager, Identity, Outfitting and Equipment, working on the project gave her a chance to return to her roots—she’d been student manager for the Connecticut women’s basketball team, Class of 2013, after starring at Sparta High School on the court.

“Being a part of the project feels like coming full circle to me,” Lenker said, standing by several racks containing the new uniforms.

The process has yielded uniforms that include “clean lines”, as Elena Delle Donne put it, while Sue Bird noted the comfort and fit. Many of the league’s top players were involved in discussions over design, and the results are exciting for all involved. There’s also custom length sizing involved with both jerseys and shorts, so players can personalize length to reflect their preferences.

The players get a chance to start wearing the uniforms on May 6, when preseason play begins. The public will get the opportunity to start purchasing the jerseys on May 13, when they go on sale at WNBA.com.

Jerseys come in two colors. There’s the icon jersey, using the team’s primary color as a base, and there’s the statement jersey, using a team’s secondary color as a base. For all WNBA games, the home team gets to decide which to use.

Players will also be outfitted with compression material, headbands, wristbands, socks—a full Nike basketball ensemble.

As for fans, the league is making the largest assortment of apparel in WNBA history available for sale, with some new items already on sale at WNBAStore.com. For adults:  Nike Authentic jerseys, Fanatics-branded Replica jerseys, New Era headwear, Nike Name and Number T-shirts, Nike tank tops, Nike hoodies and Fanatics-branded T-shirts and assorted apparel. For kids: assortment of Nike team logo T-shirts and fleece. Alas, no kids jerseys or name and number t-shirts to be found on the list, but progress is progress.

Take a closer look at the behind-the-scenes process here, and if I may make a suggestion: start saving up. You’re going to want these.