On January 20, the Golden State Warriors celebrated Oakland in style as they took to the floor against the San Antonio Spurs wearing the 2020-21 Nike City Edition jerseys for the first time. Since the league introduced City Edition uniforms before the 2017-18 season, the Warriors have been turning heads and honoring the Bay Area community with their designs, from the golden “The Bay” jersey worn during the 2017-18 season to celebrate the community’s Chinese Heritage, to the locally-flavored oak tree imagery of “The Town.” This season’s newest look: Oakland Forever, Presented by Rakuten.
Calling back to the historic We Believe era
Before moving into Chase Center in 2019, the team’s new, state-of-the-art venue in San Francisco, the Warriors spent 47 seasons in Oakland, California. During this time, the franchise enjoyed many memorable eras, but few are as beloved by fans as the iconic We Believe team of 2006-07. That season, the eight-seed Warriors upset the heavily-favored one-seed Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs — the first time in NBA history this had happened in a best-of-seven series.
Oakland Forever pays homage to the We Believe era’s distinctive visual identity, with Dark Orange and Golden Yellow accents over a Navy Blue base. It also represents another step in the Warriors’ partnership with Rakuten, which has been the team’s Jersey Badge partner since 2017. This new look is Rakuten’s first “Presented by” jersey for the Warriors.
“We are honored to partner with the Warriors to celebrate the franchise’s history and one of its most dynamic, best-loved eras,” said Amit Patel, CEO of Rakuten Americas. “As a Bay Area company that values the power of community, we are proud to stand with the Warriors to celebrate the people of Oakland with the City Edition Nike Jersey campaign.”
Giving back to the Bay Area community
Of course, Oakland Forever is about more than just celebrating a storied chapter in team history. As Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts explains, “Oakland is and forever will be part of this franchise’s identity. The Oakland Forever campaign, in partnership with Rakuten, will deepen our ties and impact in Oakland through a dedicated focus on community efforts, advancing educational equity, and providing safe access to health and wellness resources.”
“As a Bay Area company that values the power of community, we are proud to stand with the Warriors to celebrate the people of Oakland with the City Edition Nike Jersey campaign.”Amit Patel, Rakuten Americas CEO
Since 2019, Rakuten Cares has been on hand to support initiatives in the Oakland area. When Ayesha and Stephen Curry established their Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation to improve the lives of kids and families across the U.S., Rakuten was a partner. Similarly, Rakuten Cares provided an assist when Girls Inc. of Alameda County held a back-to-school drive, and employee volunteers from Rakuten helped prepare school supply packages. 2020 saw Rakuten donating to Eat. Learn. Play.’s COVID-19 response efforts — to the tune of roughly 24,000 meals for families — and supporting the Warriors to offer a virtual job mentorship program for Girls Inc.
From court to closet
To further empower the community, Rakuten and the Warriors will unveil an Oakland Forever-themed basketball court in Oakland this spring.
The two organizations have also partnered with Oaklandish, a local Bay Area retailer, to create merchandise based on Oakland Forever, including a hoodie available exclusively to fans who shop through Rakuten.com at the Warriors Shop. 10% of proceeds from all GSW x Oaklandish merchandise will go to the Oakland Community Health Center.
For being such an integral part of the Warriors’ past, present and future, it’s only fitting that the city of Oakland’s name is being seen by fans around the world.