In a nod to the Bay Area’s vibrant Chinese community, the Golden State Warriors will don special Chinese Heritage uniforms when they square off against the Minnesota Timberwolves tomorrow night at Oracle Arena. As the Warriors’ badge sponsor, and as an organization with deep ties to the Bay Area (Rakuten’s US headquarters are based in San Mateo), Rakutenians will be cheering on the home team.
The Bay Area is home to three of the five cities with the largest Asian populations in the U.S. (Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose), and the new, all-yellow uniforms pay tribute to the strong Chinese culture and the prosperity that these cities and the Warriors have enjoyed.
Emblazoned on the waistline of the shorts are the Chinese characters for “warrior,” with the word “prosperity” sewed above the NBA logo on the jersey. The chest logo combines the Golden Gate Bridge and classic Chinese symbolism, while “The Bay,” which appears on the front of the jersey, recognizes the importance of the entire Bay Area to the Warriors organization. On the chest the jerseys also feature the Rakuten badge in red, a color that symbolizes good fortune and joy in Chinese culture.
Rather than go with the traditional “home,” “away” and “alternate” conventions this year, Nike, which took over from Adidas as the official uniform sponsor of the NBA at the beginning of the 2017-18 campaign, has designed every uniform with the purpose of celebrating the history and community surrounding NBA teams.
The Warriors’ Chinese Heritage uniform was released last month as the team’s “City Edition” design, meant to highlight unique elements of each franchise city in the league. The City Edition jerseys are the fifth and final uniform installment this season from Nike.
For the Warriors, this has given the club another way to show love to the Bay Area.
Earlier in the season, the team released their “Town Jersey” as part of Nike’s “Statement Edition” and the jersey, which pays homage to the city of Oakland, has seen record sales. Since its debut, The Town apparel has accounted for more than a third of all sales at warriors.com and nearly a third at Team Store locations. On Cyber Monday, the largest sales day in NBA store history, Warriors guard Stephen Curry’s Statement Edition jersey was the top-selling item while Kevin Durant’s Town jersey also cracked the top 5.
The Chinese Heritage jerseys are another manifestation of Golden State’s deep commitment to its local community – a commitment that Rakuten also shares. Through its global ecosystem, which has grown to encompass over 70 businesses across e-commerce, digital content, communications and fintech, Rakuten empowers the communities in which it operates along with thousands of merchants and partners, bringing the joy of discovery to more than 1 billion people.
Last month, as part of Golden State’s ‘Season of Giving’ initiative, players, coaches, legends, partners, executives and front office staff volunteered more than 1,000 hours of their time to help brighten the lives of local families and youth in the Bay Area. Rakuten also contributed to the campaign by donating a suite in Oracle Arena for the Dubs’ Christmas Day game to GLIDE, a Warriors Community Foundation charity.