Nike's connected NBA jerseys update fans with news about their favourite teams

Basketball fans will soon be able to get the latest news and scores from their favourite teams by simply tapping their phone against Nike's new NBA jerseys.

Set for global release on 29 September, ahead of the start of this year's NBA season, the vests are the first to be fitted with the sportswear giant's NikeConnect technology.

Wearers will be able to activate the functionality by downloading the NikeConnect app, and placing their smartphone against a near-field communication (NFC) chip hidden underneath the tag located at the bottom left of the jersey.

The phone then recognises which jersey the user is wearing and opens up the app's "team" tab – displaying a feed of the latest news stories and fixture lists for the club they support, as well as information about individual players.

Utilising the feature during a live game means wearers can be provided with real-time scores and statistics.

NBA connected jerseys by Nike

Owners of the digitally enhanced garments also have access to exclusive content and rewards, such behind-the-scenes footage from inside the team's locker rooms and Spotify playlists curated by NBA players.

In terms of design, the new jerseys – which Nike claims to be the league's slimmest ever – feature sections made from the company's engineered knit fabric.

They build on the Vapour uniforms worn by basketball athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and aim to combat new issues facing the sport as it evolves – such as players getting smaller and quicker.

"From how the athletes move to the positions they play, even their body types are completely different today than they were five to 10 years ago,” said Kurt Parker, Nike's vice president of apparel design.

Part of the design process involved taking digital body scans of players – allowing the team to see which areas of the body sweat the most, or are under the most physical stress on the basketball court. Using this data, designers made decisions on the placement of air vents and armholes.

NBA connected jerseys by Nike

Nike recently employed a similar process when designing a capsule range of menswear pieces, which are created using a combination of computational design and Nike's innovative knitting technology. 

The upcoming season marks the first year that the Portland-based company has produced team uniforms for the National Basketball Association, replacing Adidas in a reported $1 billion eight-year deal that was announced in 2015.

Earlier this year, the company – which gained a top 10 spot on the inaugural Dezeen Hot List – also unveiled a single-layer stretchy hijab that could "change the face of sport for Muslim girls", as well as an aerodynamic shoe it hopes will help its athletes to achieve a sub-two-hour marathon.