Steve Koonin, CEO of the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena, Saporta Report
Almost three years ago, the NBA announced a league-wide apparel deal with Nike, giving the brand the right to supply each team with official uniforms and gear emblazoned with the Swoosh. While so much of the initial press was focused on the impact to the NBA’s global merchandising business and how with the reach of Nike that there would be greater opportunities to grow the game internationally (and rightfully so), both the NBA and Nike knew that its fans would want of the partnership what they’ve come to enjoy from both companies: innovation, a superior product and authenticity with a genuine connection.
Nike introduced an Association and Icon Edition uniform; the former a modern spin on the traditional white home jersey and the latter a contemporary version of the road jersey which highlights one of the team’s dominant colors. In addition to those, Nike gave teams permission to design City Edition uniforms; a jersey that would ‘honor the fans’, ‘represent insights and emotion from the court to the upper deck to the cities’ streets’ and ‘capture each team and its city in a way that respects the past and present while looking to the future’.
With that direction, we designed our Peachtree Uniforms to honor of the iconic street that connects the city of Atlanta like no other. In 71 forms – whether Road, Way, Street or Lane – Peachtree brings neighborhoods together; over 150 years old, Peachtree Street bridges the rich history of a city continually evolving and thriving. If Atlanta is the Heart of the South, then Peachtree is its most vital artery.
The feedback from the fans about our new uniforms has been nothing short of spectacular. Pre-orders were through the roof as fans wanted to be the first to represent their hometown. In our marquee matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers two weeks ago, our Black and Peach jerseys with Peachtree written in white and outlined in a bold peach color stood toe-to-toe and rose above the Lakers’ Purple and Gold, filling State Farm Arena with support for the Hawks. That night, our in-arena team shop set a new record for sales on the strength of our new color scheme. In fact, the hardest jersey in the city of Atlanta to purchase right now is that of our rising star, Trae Young, in the Peachtree City Edition.
In the City Edition jerseys, the NBA and Nike created something special by giving teams the power to connect to their home market. As always in Atlanta, we know that Peachtree is the way to go.
CAP’s Annual Meeting & Awards Celebration, presented by the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena, takes place on Thursday, January 16. Click here to purchase tickets.