Nike has revealed its first football shirt that also happens to be a tech product.
The new Chelsea third kit is the first to make use of Nike’s “Connect” technology, which allows phones to talk to the jerseys.
The features allow people to scan their football shirts and then use them to get access to other kinds of experiences, such as trips to matches and the ability to participate in the creation of a crowdsourced “Fan Jersey”.
The central parts of the new jersey, beyond the actual shirt itself are a little scannable tag built into the bottom and an app for fan’s phones. By bringing those two things together, the app is able to recognise the shirt, and then give access to the features that only owners of the specific kit can get.
The most interactive part of those experiences is the ability to help make the “Fan Jersey”, which will be known as the Chelsea FC Shirtholder’s Edition. Users of the app will work with Nike’s shirt designers to give their input on a new design, and only “shirtholders” will be able to buy that new kit.
But Nike says there will be other advantages, such as the ability to win special tickets.
Nike has already rolled out the technology to NBA teams. But the new Chelsea shirt is the first time it is available in a football kit.
It will be released in selected markets for the new season. It is available now directly from Nike or from Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge store.