Are Name-Changing NBA Jerseys the Future of Sports Uniforms?
Admittedly, when I first found out about the NBA's latest jersey venture, I was skeptical. A name-changing NBA jersey that can change a player's last name and number on demand? Seems just like another way to enable bandwagon fans who don't want to commit one way or another.
But then I thought about my 24th birthday when my brother spent a pretty penny on an Eagles LeSean McCoy jersey for my gift, only to have the player traded the following season to the Bills. It broke my heart a little bit, and I know this type of devastation happens to fans all the time (especially for Browns fans).
So perhaps that's the whole point of the futuristic, name-changing NBA jerseys that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver unveiled last week at the Technology Summit tied to the All-Star Game. Keep in mind that Silver also mentioned facial recognition technology entrances (rather than ticket scanners), hologram mascots and virtual reality viewings. Silver discussed these advancements in regard to what the NBA might look like in the year 2030, so nothing is happening anytime soon.
Adam Silver unveils the NBA jersey of the future. pic.twitter.com/h5GePOwOjx
— NBA (@NBA) February 15, 2019
There's a downside to these name-changing NBA jerseys, however. But it's not a downside for fans. If a Sixers fan purchases a Joel Embiid jersey (yes, I see no reason he wouldn't be playing in 2030) and he's traded mid-season to the Clippers, that fan does not have to go out and purchase a new jersey. In fact, they might never have to purchase another jersey again. This doesn't exactly seem like a good model for business.
Nor is there any real application for players. Instead, I think it would be more appealing to implement color-changing technology, so fans can have both home and away jerseys. And the players can too. But hey, I'm probably just a dreamer. And, sure, while it's a long way off, it seems like there are some intriguing possibilities for promotional applications—a T-shirt that shifts between a brand's logo and wordmark, for example.
What do you think of the NBA's futuristic predictions for apparel?