When the WNBA preseason kicks off on May 6, the teams will be sporting new Nike-designed uniforms with women’s-specific fits, advanced performance features and two distinct colorways.
Nike replaced Adidas as the league’s outfitter in an eight-year deal that kicks off in 2018.
Keri Lenker, senior manager of the identity outfitting and equipment group for the NBA/WNBA, said the new Nike uniform system is “designed specifically for the female athlete.” The designs were created after working closely with players to discover their needs for movement and comfort. There are women-specific scapula cuts on the jerseys with mesh panels placed specifically where women sweat. Shorts are vented and are offered in either regular or low-rise as well as in different lengths.
Each team will sport the same silhouette and will feature an “icon edition,” which is its primary color and a secondary accent color, as well as a “statement edition,” whose coloring is the opposite. At the back of the jersey is a “championship tag,” she said, with a number printed on it marking the number of championships each franchise has won. Tights will also be available in team colors and the players will also be outfitted with Nike sport bras as well as warm-up shirts, jackets and tear-away pants.
Lenker said commercial versions of the jerseys will be available to consumers under the Nike Authentic program while Fanatics will sell replica uniforms in its stores and online. That product will also launch next month.
The WNBA has had several apparel partners over the years, including Champion, Reebok and Adidas. Its official season starts on May 18.