While the WNBA hasn't officially announced when the 2021 season will start, it should be just around the corner. In leading up to the milestone 25th season, the league announced new jerseys for each of the 12 teams in partnership with Nike. This is perhaps the biggest jersey release in league history for the WNBA, with each squad unveiling three different jerseys that will be worn for the upcoming season.
From Nike's press release:
"Nike has partnered with the WNBA for its game uniforms since 2018, but there was clearly more to be done — more personalization, more options, more storytelling, and more attention to the careful dialing-in of performance features.
Sharper creative expression and refined-fit insights directly from players guide the new Nike uniform system and apparel offering for the WNBA as the league embarks on its 25th season."
Here's a look at some of the new jerseys each team will be wearing for the 2021 season:
Here's a look at the #WNBA's upcoming jersey releases for the 25th season.— Jasmyn Wimbish (@JasmynWimbish) April 8, 2021
Player numbers are returning to the front of the jersey, and each team will have 3 jersey editions:
- “Explorer” (team color)
- “Rebel” (female empowerment storytelling)
- “Heroine” (home white) pic.twitter.com/vAM24hCjE3
The three jerseys that each team will wear include the Heroine Edition, Explorer Edition and Rebel Edition, with each one telling a different story for each team. Beyond the new colorways and designs, Nike partnered with several of the league's teams to hear from the players what they wanted from the uniforms. Nike created better-fitting uniforms and more inclusive sizing, and perhaps one the most important features of the new jerseys was putting player numbers back on the front of the jersey.
For the past several years, WNBA jerseys did not include player numbers, opting for bigger advertisement patches on the front of the jersey. But for a league that is trying to continuously expand, it can become difficult to identify players on the screen without numbers on the fronts of jerseys from a fan perspective, but also for referees during a game.
The Rebel Edition uniform was created to allow each team to tell a story of female empowerment in their respective community. For example, the Chicago Sky's cracked glass jersey tells the story of women breaking through the glass ceiling in Chicago through determination and persevering attitude. The New York Liberty's Rebel Edition jersey has the word "equality" emblazoned across the front, showing the team's continual fight for social justice.
The Indiana Fever have perhaps the most creative Rebel Edition uniform, taking inspiration from the hit Netflix show "Stranger Things," which takes place in fictional Hawkins, Indiana. In the release for the jersey, the Fever said, "a rebel is unapologetic, and irreverent. Someone who rises in opposition and isn't afraid to take on a challenge."
In addition to releasing a new line of jerseys, Nike has also created a full line of apparel called the "Game Theater" collection, which includes sweatpants, jackets, shorts and more. Some items of that collection, which will be personalized for each team, will be released for fans to purchase, as well as a new line of WNBA logo apparel, including the iconic orange hoodie.
Rebel Edition jerseys for each team will be available exclusively to buy on April 8 for Nike members only, with a wide release of both the Rebel and Explorer jerseys available on April 14 at each team's online shop, Nike, Fanatics and Dick's Sporting Goods. The game theater and WNBA logo collections will also be available on April 14 for fans to buy.
When the 2021 WNBA season tips off, catch the games on CBS Sports Network.