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  • Rosemary Feitelberg

Adidas and National Hockey League Go Retro With Team Jerseys

The league’s 31 teams will wear the retro jerseys during the 2020-2021 season.

The elasticity of time is one of the numerous offshoots of the pandemic, and the world of sports is one of the many that places where that can easily be seen — or not, depending on the ever-changing scheduling.

In a new twist on the reversal of time, Adidas has worked closely with the National Hockey League to design the Adidas Reverse Retro Adizero authentic jerseys for all of the league’s 31 teams.

Pro players will be competing on-ice wearing their new jerseys’ during some games in the 2020-21 season. The program will mark the first time all 31 teams have participated in a league-wide alternate jersey program. The Reverse Retro concept is meant to play up singular and historic moments in each club’s heritage. But rather than rejigger the same old styles, there are new shots of color and design.

As of Dec. 1, hockey fans can buy the throwback looks online via Adidas and the NHL Shop, and through team shops, too. A broader release will be offered on Dec. 6. Retail prices will range from $180 to $225 in the U.S. and from $200 to $225 in Canadian dollars.

There is a significant fan base to draw from. Pre-COVID-19, the NHL welcomed more than 670 million fans in arenas and through TV and radio partners. And via social media, whether that be the league’s, teams‘ or individual players’, there are said to be 151 million followers.

The ongoing quest for greater consumer engagement and data collection has only intensified for sports leagues, companies and networks this year, as more are trying to capture their targeted audiences at home. Refreshing pro or college athletes’ uniforms — a trend that started several years ago and has gained momentum — is one of the ways that brands like Nike, Adidas and Under Armour are helping that cause.

“Our goal from Day One has been to work with the NHL and all of the teams to bring creativity, innovation and energy to the sport with all that we do,” Dan Near, senior director at Adidas Hockey, said.

The NHL’s chief brand officer Brian Jennings said, “NHL team jerseys have long carried deep historical significance for avid and casual hockey fans. Through the years, the design of each team has evolved to balance history and authenticity with cultural touchpoints.”


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