Golden State Warriors: Inside Look at Unveiling of New Slate Alternate Jersey

The Golden State Warriors are known as being one of the most creative and innovative franchises in the NBA. The Warriors don’t follow the “typical” or the “usual” model. They enjoy being different and trying out new methods, always with a goal for improvement and growth.

They’ve continued their creative trend by unveiling their new alternate jerseys in an unprecedented way. Instead of holding a press conference, writing a press release, and inviting the top local media members, the Warriors decided to let some of their most dedicated and influential fans unveil their new slate, sleeved alternate jerseys for them.

It was a risky move. What if these respected fans didn’t like the new jersey? What if they didn’t describe the jersey correctly? What if they said the wrong thing? To the Warriors, they knew that negative feedback was a possibility. It always is. But this decision was more about letting the most influential fans get out the news using a tool that they know how to use well: social media.

On Sunday evening, the Warriors held a secret event at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco to unveil the jersey. In attendance were a few of the most influential fans that were selected by the Warriors themselves, Warriors hype man Franco Finn, employees of adidas, Warriors, and Twitter, and Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes.

I was fortunate enough to be named one of those social media influencers. I was contacted via Twitter by the Warriors a few weeks ago and was given minimal details, due to the top secret nature of the event.

After the Warriors generously gave each influencer a gift card to the adidas store in San Francisco (hopefully to spend on Warriors gear), I donned my newly purchased “Golden State Represent” t-shirt and adidas shoes when I showed up at the adidas store again on Sunday evening. From there, the rest of the influencers and I were not given much information, except for that we’d go to an undisclosed location via some a few Kia Sorentos.

We drove over to Twitter headquarters, and we were welcomed by Warrior Girls, peppy music, balloons, and an entourage. This celebrity-like treatment made me feel pretty special, and it also signaled that some exciting things were about to happen. 

After some introductions, Barnes came out in an adidas track suit and then unveiled the new “armor.” After the oohs and ahhs, we learned more about the finished product.

The Warriors and adidas made it clear to everyone that this new jersey is slate, not black, which makes this the first slate-colored jersey in the NBA. Part of the design concept was to purposefully have the jersey not be black, despite fan interest in this, partially because they didn’t want the jersey to be too similar to the Brooklyn Nets’ well-known black uniforms.

These jerseys, along with other NBA jerseys this upcoming seaseon, will have a special patch on the top of the back of the jersey that will display the number of the championships the particular team has won. So, for example, the Warriors’ patch will have a three on it, symbolizing the three championships the team has won (1947, 1956, 1975).

Many fans have shown dislike or even disdain for sleeved NBA jerseys. I have to admit, I was even one of those fans. The Warriors became the first team to try out the sleeved jersey, and the yellow sleeved jerseys that the Warriors and adidas first came up with were pretty hard to look at. The mismatched yellows and the odd look to them were just too much for me to handle. In addition, as someone who plays basketball, I didn’t like the idea of the players having to play with sleeves.

The white sleeved jerseys that the Warriors used last season weren’t as bold, and even though my dislike for sleeves continued, I was a little more on board with the white jerseys.

In addition to many fans’ dislike of sleeved jerseys, many players have shown a dislike for the sleeves too, and it wasn’t just shooters who complained about the restricting sleeves too.

Barnes informed the crowd on Sunday evening that adidas, to account for this problem, added a vented strip on the shoulder of the jersey to allow for more ease in movement of the sleeve. They also added more vents in the jersey and used softer, lighter fabric to make it easier and more comfortable to wear, for both NBA players and fans.

Barnes claimed that the Warriors players were able to give their input, and their suggestions helped influence this new design. The Warriors’ new slate-colored, sleeved alternate jerseys will be worn on most Saturday home games, and they will debut on November 15th against the Charlotte Hornets.

After the unveil of the jersey, the influencers shared the news first, and we then were given a goodie bag (or backpack, in this case) full of our own Harrison Barnes slate jersey, a Warriors’ practice shirt with our personal Twitter handles on the back, and other Warriors goodies. We then got the opportunity to meet Barnes, have him autograph our slate jerseys, and chat with the other influencers.

Thanks again to the Warriors for inviting me to this incredible event and for naming me as one of the most influential fans in Dub Nation. I feel incredibly fortunate to have been invited, to have met so many influential, interesting, and generous people, and to have been able to share my passion for the Warriors with others.

I will be forever grateful to the Warriors. Thank you, and go Warriors!