Inspired by their tradition of playing “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix before every home game, Seattle Sounders FC unveiled a new psychedelic secondary kit on Tuesday.
The jersey combines a wavy tonal purple pattern on the front and sleeves — reminiscent of Hendrix’s album covers and evoking another of the Seattle native’s songs, “Purple Haze” — with orange and yellow trim to pay homage to the rock ‘n’ roll legend. The back is solid purple, with the player name and number in white.
The jersey also features Hendrix’s autograph near the bottom of the front of the jersey, and lyrics from his song “Straight Ahead” inside the collar: “We got to stand, side by side.”
“We couldn’t be more excited and proud to finally introduce The Jimi Hendrix Kit to the world; a true intersection of sports, music and pop culture,” Sounders FC owner and president of business operations Peter Tomozawa said in a press release, according to MLSsoccer.com. “Jimi’s legacy looms large, not just here in Seattle where he was born and raised, or for the Sounders, where his iconic rendition of ‘All Along the Watchtower’ has been a part of matchday tradition for years, but across the entire world.
“In his short life, Jimi gifted us with his talent, and, even more so, with his generous and loving spirit. We wanted this kit to embody that colorful, creative personality, while also using it as a way to further good, just as Jimi used his own platform.”
E-commerce outfit Zulily remains the main shirt sponsor, but the right sleeve now sports the logo of the Puyallup Tribe thanks to a new partnership agreement. Under the agreement, proceeds from the first 30 days of sales of the new jersey through official team Pro Shop locations and MLSStore.com (up to $50,000) will be donated to five local charities:
- the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation;
- the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP);
- the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM);
- RAVE Foundation; and
- the Tacoma Public Schools Indian Education Program.
“Seattle was and always will be Jimi’s home. The Sounders are Seattle’s own, as well,” Janie Hendrix, president and CEO of Experience Hendrix, LLC, added in the press release. “Collaborating with the Sounders to create a jersey is our way of playing for the home team. We’re celebrating two local heroes and at the same time supporting a cause that unifies. Jimi was all about honoring the place you come from. This venture allows us to give back to the community he loved. That’s something I think would make Jimi proud.”
The logo of Emerald Queen Casino in neighbouring Tacoma, Wash., which is owned by the Puyallup Tribe, will appear on the sleeves of Seattle’s home jerseys starting this season.
Photos courtesy Seattle Sounders FC / soundersfc.com