(Nike) came with some initial concepts that we liked, and I think that they would’ve been enjoyed by the fans but we challenged Nike to come back with something really creative. —Jazz president Steve Starks
SALT LAKE CITY — Surprise!
Ho, ho, ho. Merry Christmas.
For Utah Jazz fans, Santa Claus has delivered with an exclusive first-look at the new Nike “City Edition" uniform.
Originally scheduled to unveil on Dec. 27, Utah’s alternate uniform is being rolled out today.
“It’s our Christmas present to Utah,” said Frank Zang, Utah’s senior vice president of communications.
The threads are inspired by the state of Utah’s natural beauty, including the red rocks, canyon lands, arches, and vistas throughout the southern region that often go unnoticed, due to the stunning mountains.
"UTAH” is planted across the chest of the uniform as the colorway drops the traditional green, purple and gold colors for a colorful jersey that fades from bright gold to deep burgundy.
The Jazz will break out the fourth and final uniform design on Jan. 30 at Vivint Arena against the defending champion Golden State Warriors, with a matching alternative basketball court. Utah will sport the red rock uniforms for nine games this season, including six at home.
The court also carries the theme of southern Utah’s red rocks and canyon lands with a gradiation of colors and a new “Jazz state logo” inside the three-point lines on both ends.
“(Nike) came with some initial concepts that we liked, and I think that they would’ve been enjoyed by the fans but we challenged Nike to come back with something really creative,” said Jazz president Steve Starks. “We wanted to be aggressive with this jersey and do something out of the box so they came back with something a few weeks later and they presented a concept that we loved and then we’ve refined it together since that point.”
Most NBA teams represent a city, but in Utah the Jazz represent the entire state so Nike designers drew inspiration for the gradient jerseys from an untraditional source with the red rocks, canyon lands, arches, sunsets and beautiful scenery.
“We loved it,” Starks said. “This will be the only jersey in the NBA that has any type of gradient element to it, so it was really hard for Nike to be able to manufacture these.”
Fans will be able to tentatively purchase the uniforms in March because the production is so intricate. The side paneling on the jerseys also show the two major paths down that lead you from Salt Lake City to Moab, home of the Delicate Arch, and the interstate 15 route to St. George.
A fiery red 5 For The Fight logo is also featured on the jersey, sponsored by Qualtrics. Underneath the shorts is also a hidden treasure with a graphic of the Delicate Arch.
The specific details are what really bring this uniform to life and the organization is taking a multiyear approach with this concept and plan to feature other parts of the state of Utah.
Nike’s “City” edition uniforms are created in an attempt to step away from the traditional team branding with a version inspired by the community as the Association, Icon and Statement editions stay true to the franchise in the uniform collection.
“The Utah Jazz represent an entire state and its tremendous diversity in landscape and terrain,” said Bart Sharp, senior vice president of marketing for the Utah Jazz. “Snow-capped mountains have been part of our identity in the past, but this year’s uniform design gives us the opportunity to showcase the signature red rocks and canyon lands of southern Utah as well as the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets that exemplify our state.”