Seattle Sounders have paid tribute to one of the city’s most famous sons, James “Jimi” Marshall Hendrix, with the release of a new kit for the upcoming Major League Soccer season.
The Sounders’ psychedelic 2021-22 away shirt celebrates the life and career of the 1960s rock legend, whose band The Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
“Seattle was and always will be Jimi’s home. The Sounders are Seattle’s own, as well,” said Janie Hendrix, president & CEO of Experience Hendrix. “Collaborating with the Sounders to create a jersey is our way of playing for the home team.
“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.”
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Sounders star Nicolas Lodeiro helped launch the new Adidas uniform, which has been officially dubbed “The Jimi Hendrix Kit” by the club.
The jersey conjures images of the electric guitar great in his pomp with a purple haze effect all over, trimmed with bright flashes of orange and yellow — accents as bold as love.
Hendrix’s signature has also been added to the bottom-left corner of the jersey while the inner neck features a tape graphic of hand-written lyrics from the song “Straight Ahead,” which was included on posthumous 1997 album “First Rays of the New Rising Sun.”
This is no castle made of sand either, with the Sounders’ Jimi Hendrix kit also placing a strong emphasis on promoting and supporting local community causes. Proceeds from the first 30 days of sales will be donated to five non-profit organisations, all of which are geared toward advocating youth sport and/or art and music.
What’s more, the right sleeve of the shirt also features the salmon logo of the Puyallup Tribe, who still serve as first nation stewards of the land throughout the Puget Sound in Washington State and have recently signed a charitable partnership deal with the club.
Football kits with musical tie-ins are proving popular at the moment, with Irish post-punk band Fontaines DC sponsoring the new away kit for Dublin-based club Bohemians.
The kit, which features the band’s name across the midriff, will help raise funds to support a homelessness charity with 15% of proceeds being donated to Focus Ireland.
We’re extremely proud to be a part of the new Bohs kit in conjunction with Focus Ireland as they are two organisations that we hold very close to our hearts. @bfcdublin @FocusIreland https://t.co/X8GITXdSGa pic.twitter.com/6GptJrKaTF
— Fontaines D.C. (@fontainesdublin) March 13, 2021
Last season, Bohemians collaborated with human rights charity Amnesty International to create an away shirt that proudly expressed support for refugees fleeing war around the world.
“Bohs are an organisation that really care about the community,” said Fontaines DC drummer Tom Coll. “Having a Dublin football team having ‘Refugees Welcome’ be the biggest thing on their shirt, that’s amazing.”
Bohs also launched a limited edition Bob Marley jersey for the 2018-19 season in tribute to the late reggae superstar, who staged his last ever open-air concert at the club’s Dalymount Park ground in 1980. However, the League of Ireland side were quickly forced to axe the design after running afoul of image rights laws, despite Marley’s son Ky-Mani branding it the “dopest” football shirt he’d ever seen.
Introducing Bohemians’ new away shirt!
It’s in tribute to Bob Marley after his final outdoor concert took place at their home ground 🇯🇲 pic.twitter.com/tdl9KKhffy
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) October 24, 2018
In the recent past, we’ve even seen huge clubs like Paris Saint-Germain buddying up with rock royalty to produce special one-off shirts.
Indeed, the Parisians joined forces with the Rolling Stones to produce a whole range of merchandise, including replica shirts, apparel, skateboards and even crash helmets.
OFFICIAL: PSG have launched their “unique collaboration” with the Rolling Stones. #PSGNoFilter pic.twitter.com/Dh9mySO5RP
— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) October 18, 2017
After scoring a number of hits in the early 1990s, Scottish pop band Wet Wet Wet decided to invest some of their earnings in their hometown club, Clydebank, by taking over as shirt sponsor.
💰 Wet Wet Wet
“Wet Wet Wet arguably started the whole bands sponsoring football teams by pumping some of their pre-Love Is All Around royalties into their hometown team in 1993.” pic.twitter.com/QLAKRyhHqh
— FourFourTwo (@FourFourTwo) January 29, 2018
DJ and Brighton & Hove Albion fan Fatboy Slim had his record label Skint sponsor the shirts of his beloved hometown club for a period in the early 2000s.
The 1999-00 Brighton & Hove Albion home shirt is a classic. Skint Record’s sponsorship, the record label of the Seagull’s most famous fan Fatboy Slim, makes for an iconic combination 🔵⚪️#shirtshackfootball #futebol #futbol #calcio #brighton #bha #championsleague #premierleague pic.twitter.com/jjF58WconW
— Shirt Shack Football (@ShirtShackFooty) September 15, 2020
As unlikely as it may seem, The Prodigy saw fit to sponsor an under-13s team in 2012 when a dad of one of the Eastleigh Juniors FC players wrote a letter to band member Liam Howlett.
Over in Germany, veteran punk rockers Die Toten Hosen famous for splashing their mark across several Fortuna Dusseldorf strips from the 1990s right up to the present day.
Shirt Alert: Fortuna Düsseldorf have teamed up with rock band Die Toten Hosen to produce a special shirt
The side also had a special Die Toten Hosen sponsor in the 90s
What do you think of the new shirt?#F95 x #DTH pic.twitter.com/TchRIlLrkV
— Classic Football Shirts (@classicshirts) October 29, 2019
Still, Sounders fans will be right for thinking that having Hendrix’s signature on their team’s jersey will be tough for any team to top this season.