Uniform variations across professional sports have been among the many changes seen in recent years. The uniform changes in the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLS have improved the fan experience and increased retail sales as well.
Major League Baseball, got in on the action back in 2017 when they announced the inaugural "Player's Weekend." A dedicated weekend during the dog days of summer, typically in late August, that allowed the players on all 30 teams to wear different uniforms and accessories.
"We wanted a way to accelerate the process of fans getting to know them," said Chris Marinak, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of league economics and strategy at the time. "We have 800 players in the Major Leagues and each one of them has a unique story that fans, at every local level, can make a connection with."
In 2021, the league took it a step further, partnering with Nike for some new-look uniforms for a handful of select teams. The pair called them the "City Connect" uniforms, and the Los Angeles Dodgers were among the seven clubs chosen to wear them for five games in August.
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The uniforms were a hit with fans and on Tuesday MLB and Nike formerly announced the return of the uniforms in 2022, with seven new teams.
The Los Angeles Angels, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, and Washington Nationals were all selected as part of the City Connect program for the 2022 season.
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"There’s nothing quite like the bond between baseball fans, their home teams, and their hometowns — and the Nike MLB City Connect series is an ongoing celebration of that relationship," said Nike vice president of North America league partnerships Sonja Henning in a statement released to the media.
"We are thrilled to honor the history of each club while pushing the bounds of what a baseball jersey can be," continued Henning. "We hope this series will continue to energize longtime fans — and bring a generation of new ones to the game."
"The excitement that our fans and players showed last year at each City Connect debut is exactly what these uniforms are all about," said MLB Chief Revenue Officer Noah Garden. "When we initially partnered with Nike, the incredible energy that we see at each uniform launch is exactly what we envisioned. Nike continues to raise the bar working with our Clubs on developing these unique designs, bringing each community’s story to life. We can’t wait to see how these next seven uniforms connect with our fans and generate excitement on the field this season."
The Nationals unveiled their City Connect uniform on their social media accounts on Tuesday with uniforms featuring cherry blossom trees. A tree that is prominent throughout the Potomac basin.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are not expected to wear their City Connect uniforms during the 2022 season, but presumably there's still a chance they could wear the uniforms from last year at some point.
Below is the full schedule for each of the seven MLB teams and when they will wear the City Connect uniforms this season:
Washington Nationals: April 9
Houston Astros: April 20
Kansas City Royals: April 30
Colorado Rockies: June 4
Los Angeles Angels: June 11
Milwaukee Brewers: June 24
San Diego Padres: July 8
Nike is the Official Uniform and Footwear Supplier of MLB, along with the base layer, game-day outerwear and all training apparel for all 30 MLB teams. To complete the players' City Connect uniforms, Nike collaborated with longtime MLB partner New Era & Stance to develop the official on-field City Connect hats and socks.