Nationals, Wizards unveil cherry blossom jerseys
The Nike collaboration is the first uniform campaign between MLB and NBA teams in the same market.
“It will tell the rest of the United States and the rest of the sports industry how important cherry blossoms are to DC and how much they are part of the fabric of DC,” said Hunter Lochmann, director of the marketing for Monumental Sports. . “I mean, there’s a reason we both thought about it separately as teams to do it.”
The franchises started working on their designs individually two years ago, but then discovered they were working on similar projects.
Nationals and Wizards wanted to collaborate even though their seasons are at different stages of the calendar year. There was an additional hurdle — special 75th anniversary uniforms for NBA teams — that pushed the Wizards’ look into next season.
Nationals jerseys will be available for purchase at the Washington team store and online beginning Wednesday. Wizards jerseys won’t be available for purchase until November.
“I think doing it together shows how close we are together as a city,” said Jacqueline Coleman, senior vice president of marketing for the Nationals. “It’s cherry blossom time right now, so we should do this together to make sure we both step into this great time for both of our franchises.”
The Nationals jersey changes the team’s color scheme, blending ivory, gray and pink. It features elements that connect DC, including ivory block lettering that depicts landmarks and pink cherry blossom petals. The city flag is also displayed on the uniform.
Coleman said his team went through four or five suit versions before settling on the design. The Nationals will likely wear the jerseys about twice a month, Coleman estimated.
Wizards jersey tops are pink with “Washington” across the chest and a cherry blossom dotted over the “i”. The shorts are a pink to purple to blue gradient, meant to represent cherry blossom petals falling into the tidal pool, Lochmann said.
“Anytime you pull out a jersey, you’re never going to hit 1,000,” Lochmann said. “But we are excited about it. And I think our two jerseys are so different but unique in their own way that we’re going to cover a broad spectrum, I think, for the DC fanbase as well.