The MLB’s new City Connect uniforms have brought about a new era in baseball fashion. They are the first to allow for player customization and personalization, making them the most popular jerseys in recent memory.
The new mlb uniforms 2021 are the latest in baseball fashion. They have changed the future of fashion in baseball.
The seven City Connect jerseys debuted this season to mixed reviews from fans, but MLB deems them a success.
According to league executives, the Nike alternates are not only here to stay (there will be 23 more by the end of 2023), but they are also helping to pave the way for even more extreme designs in the future.
The Boston Red Sox were the first club to debut a City Connect uniform in April, with a jersey that included yellow and blue instead of red, as a nod to Patriots’ Day and the Boston Marathon. The Boston Red Sox were followed by the Miami Marlins, who paid homage to Cuba’s Sugar Kings; the Chicago White Sox, who wore all-black pinstriped uniforms with a gothic “Southside” font; the Chicago Cubs, who paid homage to the Wrigleyville neighborhood that surrounds their ballpark; the Arizona Diamondbacks, who wore gold uniforms with “Los Serpientes” emblazoned across the chest; and the Seattle Marin The Los Angeles Dodgers, the last club on this year’s list, shared their thoughts on Thursday.
While the looks alarmed some traditionalists, they were well-received. Each team’s jerseys were sold out, with the exception of the Dodgers’ late-breaking entry to the series. The league was unable to maintain City Connect goods in stock as sales exceeded expectations, owing in part to worldwide supply chain problems. MLB clubs are taking a fresh look at their uniforms as a result of the high sales and the excitement around the series.
MLB Chief Revenue Officer Noah Garden stated, “They’re becoming a bit more aggressive where they’ve been a little more conventional.” “They are aware of what has occurred. They are aware of the ongoing discussion. They view the outpouring of good feedback as attracting the kind of audience they want to reach: a younger generation that is more fashion-forward, enjoys the game, but isn’t as conventional.”
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The Marlins and Diamondbacks, for example, are integrating the jerseys into their regular lineup. By the conclusion of the 2023 season, all 30 MLB clubs are scheduled to wear City Connect jerseys. Because of the success of the first set of jerseys, even the most conservative teams have jumped right into the series. According to league insiders, the New York Yankees, whose uniform has been almost unchanged for decades (with a few minor changes), originally voiced reservations about City Connect designs. According to insiders, they are now actively seeking an alternative.
Even the Dodgers’ “Los Dodgers” look, which seemed to be the safest of the series thus far, required a leap of faith.
“Because any changes to our uniform are substantial, the City Connect uniforms were designed to be familiar. Since the club relocated to Los Angeles in 1958, the Dodgers’ uniform has remained virtually unaltered “Lon Rosen, the Dodgers’ executive vice president and top marketing officer, said as much. “We don’t have a third jersey, and we don’t wear various jerseys depending on the day of the week or the desire of the pitchers, so an all-blue uniform with spray paint accents and anything other than our famous Los Angeles hat are significant changes for us.”
Other teams have already abandoned ideas for more conservative City Connect designs in favor of more fashion-forward appearances, according to insiders.
“It’s certainly more open from clubs,” Garden said. “It’s clearly more involved in the process and obviously more enthusiastic about their debut.” “Now we have clubs who have gone from saying, ‘I’ll do it three years down the line,’ to asking, ‘How do I do it next year?’”
While some have accused City Connect of being a money grab, Garden refuted this, claiming that product sales only account for a tiny percentage of the league’s total income. Garden said that City Connect is more about utilizing fashion to help promote the sport.
“When I look at merchandise, I’m less concerned with how many we’re selling because, at the end of the day, that figure, in comparison to ticket sales and everything else we do, isn’t a big amount,” Garden said. “It’s more about getting the word out about the product. When you see someone wearing a Yankees hat or jersey, or a Red Sox hat or jersey, they’re advertising our goods. The greater the number of individuals that are wearing that thing, the more relevant you are.”
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In recent years, the MLB has partnered with labels like Supreme, Ralph Lauren, Aimé Leon Dore, Kith, and Awake NY to bring baseball merchandise to the streetwear and fashion worlds. The league’s ambitions in those areas are being accelerated as a result of the success of those partnerships and City Connect.
While the NBA went all-in on uniform design beginning with the 2017-18 season, totally overhauling the sport’s on-court apparel with the City Edition collection, MLB has chosen a much slower, more careful approach. The relationship between Nike and the NBA, according to Dr. Brandon Brown, a clinical assistant professor of sports marketing at New York University, is a case study in how MLB might approach altering baseball’s fashion culture. In 2019, MLB hired Nike as its official uniform supplier in the hopes of bringing the baseball uniform into the twenty-first century. However, it will not happen overnight.
“If [MLB’s] supporters were exclusively from the younger generations, I believe they would be more willing to go all-in. However, they are unable to go all-in since they are aware of their elder generations “Brown said. “It is, in my opinion, a first step. They aren’t going to completely change their personalities, but they are altering their approach in order to connect with the younger generation.”
Brown said that MLB’s goal for City Connect is to tap into regional identity in order to appeal to those who would not otherwise consider purchasing a baseball shirt.
“People are constantly eager to display their individuality. Region has such an important role in this “Brown said. “Jay-statement, Z’s “I made the Yankee cap more famous than a Yankee can,” is one of my favorites. Wearing a Yankee hat does not necessarily indicate that you are a Yankee, but it does indicate that you are a New Yorker. So jerseys aren’t just about the team; they’re also about where you’re from.”
It’s also a bid to win over Generation Z.
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Brown said, “That’s why these City Connect jerseys are so essential.” “They do something unique, and being unique is something that the Gen Z society identifies with. MLB wants its clubs to be a part of the discussion. MLB wants its clubs to be a part of the conversation about local identity.”
It’s not just been City Connect. In recent years, MLB has experimented with its uniforms, with varied results. The league revealed outfits for the American League and National League teams for this year’s All-Star Game, an occasion in which each player has always worn his own team’s uniform. Those were met with a tepid response. The league’s Players Weekend has also pushed the envelope, with nicknames (including emojis) on the backs of jerseys, but the most recent monochromatic black-and-white designs from 2019 were universally criticized.
The momentum, on the other hand, isn’t slowing down. The players have pushed for a lot of the changes in on-field form. Fernando Tatis Jr., Mookie Betts, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Tim Anderson, and Ronald Acuna Jr. are among the younger players redefining the game’s sense of flair. Anderson assisted in the development of the White Sox jerseys, which have become one of City Connect’s most popular.
In May, Anderson told The Athletic, “We wanted to do something interesting and genuine.” “This is as genuine as it gets, in my opinion. It’s understandable to put Southside on the front. For individuals who grew up on the South Side and have been Sox fans their whole lives, using that word makes it a lot more believable. It’s certainly relevant, hip, and great in my opinion.”
The game has witnessed the development of flashier socks, chains, the usage of painted bats during the Home Run Derby, and the advent of sneaker culture in the sport, which has even extended to umpire footwear. Garden claims that MLB is contemplating relaxing the restrictions on self-expression even further, and that painted bats, like bright bespoke cleats, may soon be shown in regular-season games. This will only serve to promote the uniform trend.
“We always have to make sure that anything we do is appropriate and doesn’t detract from the product on the field, but all of that stuff is on the table,” Garden said. “All of it should be on the table, in my opinion. Again, I believe everything is good. That pattern, I believe, will continue.”