Photo / Bruce Ely

Innovation, Sustainability and Tradition are Driving Themes for First Nike Uniforms

Old Monikers of “Home” and “Away” Jerseys Give Way to New “Association” and “Icon”

PORTLAND, Ore. (July 29, 2017) –  At first glance, the changes in the Portland Trail Blazers primary uniforms debuting in the 2017-18 season are subtle, even to the most ardent of fans.  But a closer look reveals a blend of innovation, environmental sustainability and functionality encased in a design that salutes the team’s traditional look at home and on the road.  With Nike as the NBA’s new provider of uniforms and on-court products for all 30 teams, the Trail Blazers publicly revealed the first two editions of their new uniforms today during the annual Rip City 3 on 3 outdoor basketball tournament.  

Gone are the old-school descriptors of “home” white and “away” dark uniforms.  Instead, the “Association” (traditional white) and “Icon” (dark primary color) editions will represent the heritage of the Trail Blazers, while still delivering classic applications of the team’s scarlet and black colors and the newly-modernized iconic Pinwheel logo. Two more specialty editions of the team’s uniforms will be introduced this fall and winter to create a collection of four on-court ensembles for the Trail Blazers.

“With Nike as our new partner for NBA on-court product, we’re pleased with the outcome of a journey to upgrade our team’s look that actually first began with fan input in 2015,” said Chris McGowan, President & CEO of the Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter.  “It was important to pay homage to the classic elements of our team colors and logo, which was a priority for our fans.  At the same time, Nike’s world-class levels of creativity and innovation are still evident.  The new uniforms will add even more excitement to the upcoming season.”

On-court performance is paramount for an NBA athlete, which was a priority focus as Nike built a new silhouette for the uniforms.  Traditional fabrics were replaced with lighter-weight materials that wick away sweat 30% faster and allow for a much quicker drying time.  Other design advancements include armhole, neck and side seam changes to eliminate distractions and improve overall range of motion.  

Perhaps the most stunning innovation came through Nike’s commitment to environmental sustainability as part of the uniform’s textile composition.  Through the use of Alpha Yarns and recycled polyester, each individual NBA uniform represents approximately 20 recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles.  This allowed Nike to still deliver superior athletic performance while reducing environmental impact.

“For sustainability to be transformative, it should start at the sketchpad and flow through the entire process of making a product, delivering a product and even play a role in the after-life of a product,” said Hannah Jones, Nike’s Vice President of Innovation Accelerator and Chief Sustainability Officer.

Other visible updates to the Trail Blazers new “Association” and “Icon” editions include:

  • Modernized wordmarks for “BLAZERS” and “PORTLAND” identifications on jersey fronts;
  • Updated fonts for player names and numbers; and
  • A team-colored “RIP CITY” mantra honoring Trail Blazers fans on the front of waistband.

When the final two NBA uniforms editions are released in the coming months, they will draw special inspiration from each team’s players for one version; and the local communities and cultures for the other, according to Dewayne Hankins, Chief Marketing Officer for the Trail Blazers.  

“The full impact of the on-court makeover for us is still to come,” said Hankins. “And while we’ve embraced the tradition of what made our previous uniforms successful with our new Icon and Association uniforms, we look forward to sharing our full uniform set in the coming months and sharing something unique and authentic to the Trail Blazers.”

To view the exciting new Trail Blazers “Association” and “Icon” uniform editions, please click here: