Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Minnesota Twins Launch New City Connect Uniform – SportsLogos.Net News

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This uniform’s got “so much drip” that it just “might make another lake.” These are the words of Slug, one half of Minnesota hip-hop duo Atmosphere, in reference to the brand-new Minnesota Twins Nike MLB City Connect uniform unveiled this morning.

The Twins are the 28th of 30 Major League Baseball clubs to join the City Connect club. Their uniform pays tribute to the state of Minnesota, its natural landscapes, lakes, and wildlife, and even gives a little tip of the cap to a local music legend.

Inspired by the state motto, “The Land of 10,000 Lakes,” the Twins City Connect uniform (it’s really a “State Connect” uniform) is almost entirely “Deep Blue” with subtle shifts within there from light blue to dark. These shifts symbolize a deep descent into a lake and create a ripple effect that dominates the jersey base. “Warm Yellow” accents symbolize sunlight, and a tiny hint of the lightest shade of pink (tagged “Radiant Pink”) you’ll ever see helps complete that feeling of sittin’ by a lake in Minnesota.

Minnesota Twins City Connect uniform

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It’s that moment when “the water is bubbling against the rocks, the sun is setting, and there’s a yellow and pink hue in the sky,” said Heather Hinkel, the Twins’ vice president of brand marketing, in a recent conversation with SportsLogos.Net. “We felt anybody could relate to a moment like this, by the lake at sunset. We didn’t want a moment where you’re on a speedboat on a tube behind. We’d be alienating a lot of our audience that doesn’t necessarily have access to that. The moment where you can sit on the lake is an experience that we can all nod our heads and relate to.”

The blue cap with a yellow visor blends symbols of Minnesota’s natural beauty and cultural heritage while also incorporating a tribute to Prince, the iconic musician who was born and raised in the state. The crown of the cap features a logo showing the state silhouette perfectly framing the northern lights, sky, and water. The logo is inspired by the Dakota origins of the state’s name, “Miní Sóta,” meaning “land where the water is so clear it reflects the sky.” A North Star graphic is placed on the location of Target Field within the new cap logo.

Minnesota Twins City Connect cap
The Minnesota Twins City Connect cap features a state map of Minnesota

“The cap logo is a design versus actual lettering,” Hinkel explained. “Instead of having an actual ‘MN’ hat [to match the jersey], we were intrigued by wearing something on the hat that’s a piece of art, essentially. In the end, it shows the perfect Minnesota night.”

The right side of the cap displays the words “10,000 Lakes,” a direct reference to the state nickname. Waves flow through the bottom of this patch, and the North Star imagery is again included, this time as the comma in the number.

Under the visor is a topographic map of Lake Minnetonka, one of Minnesota’s largest lakes, located about a half-hour drive away from the ballpark. This is an homage to the late musician Prince on the 40th anniversary of his movie Purple Rain, in which he tells Apollonia to “purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.” Prince also briefly owned a house on the lake in the early 1980s. “When we started talking about City Connect, our market thought, ‘You’re going to do a Prince uniform!’ So this is our answer to those fans who thought we would do one, a hidden little secret gem, our nod to Prince.”

A topographic map of Lake Minnetonka under the visor, a subtle nod to the musician Prince

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Minnesota’s natural beauty and cultural significance are vibrantly reflected in the City Connect jersey, inspired by the ripple effect on the state’s lakes and that connection between the water and the sky. The jersey’s colour scheme includes deep blues representing the state’s waters, with lighter and darker blues creating a wave effect and the darkness of a lake the deeper you go.

A fluid ripple pattern shimmers and reflects the light across the jersey, creating a dynamic visual effect. If you look closely, you can see the ripple pattern forms the North Star logo used by the Twins throughout this set and on their usual road cap.

“Sublimation was something the first group of City Connect teams didn’t necessarily tap into, but now, as we’re one of the last teams to go, it’s becoming more common.”

The jersey’s upper left chest features a white “MN” logo with blue trim. The North Star graphic appears again in yellow between the two letters. The outside of each letter is curved to represent a lake’s waves. The same wavy style was used for the numbers on the back of the jersey but not the player’s names.

On the jersey sleeve are three stripes: navy blue, pink, and yellow. Above that is a patch featuring Minnesota’s state bird, the loon, shown flying. The patch shows the loon in the shape of a drop of water with the waves of a lake behind it, along with a couple of other slightly hidden elements—it has baseball stitching for eyes and that North Star again as the beak. The outer edge of the patch is yellow on one half and pink on the other. “It’s a loon flying over the lake, and the sun is setting; it tells the story of our City Connect uniform, as seen from the eyes of a loon.”

Minnesota Twins City Connect jersey “MN” wordmark logo
A patch featuring a loon is worn on the right sleeve

The jock tag of the jersey reads “10,000 Lakes” in that same custom font we see on the jersey wordmark, mimicking the movement of waves. The inside back collar shows the Twins’ alternate State of Minnesota logo recolored white, blue and yellow.

Blue pants without a ripple effect include three stripes down the side: navy blue, pink, and yellow. The belts are yellow. The socks are blue with a light blue wave pattern, the “MN” wordmark, and the top of a yellow North Star design.

“A lot of players were excited about us having yellow and pink because they’re going to create special cleats and other accessories associated with this uniform,” said Hinkel. “Blue is a colour already throughout MLB, so the yellows and pinks are something they’re hoping to play up. They wanted something that pops: the yellow belt, the brim on the hat. They were feening for colour, and so we gave it to them where we could.”

The Twins City Connect uniform features ripple-sublimation on the jerseys with plain blue pants

“When I first saw them, the colour wave really popped out,” said Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers. “It was very Minnesota – you think about the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and this is it.” Jeffers later added, “I think they did a really good job curating some unique logos and finding a unique colour scheme that really stands out for the theme of the jerseys.”

The design process of this uniform involved a meticulous and collaborative effort between the Twins and Nike, aimed at creating a design that truly embodied Minnesota’s spirit and identity. The Twins pushed Nike and MLB to delay their release until they were one of the last teams, as the club had just released an entirely new uniform set.

Close-up of the ripple sublimation design on the Twins new City Connect jersey

“It started about a little over two years ago, and we had just gone through the rebrand,” Hinkel recalled. “We were going to go earlier with our City Connect, but ultimately decided, as a club, that we really wanted to give our full attention to the rebrand and have that launch be in the market, be on the field, and to have some breathing room between a rebrand and a new City Connect.”

The Twins debuted their new uniform set at the beginning of the 2023 season. The set included a new North Star symbol (which we see throughout the new City Connect set) and an alternate uniform reading “Twin-Cities” that many had presumed was the club’s City Connect set all along.

Blue, pink, and yellow sleeve striping pays tribute to a lakeside sunset

“Our ‘Twin Cities’ cream uniform was our club taking the City Connect idea into our own hands and saying, ‘Okay, this is the story we want to own.’ We didn’t want Nike to have a say in it — respectfully, we really wanted to be sure that we could control that narrative. We truly feel our ‘Twin Cities’ uniform is a City Connect uniform.”

A state-wide approach was taken for the City Connect uniform rather than a single-city approach (or two cities in the case of the Twins). “If we were to do a truly ‘City’ Connect uniform and chose Minneapolis, that would alienate our Saint Paul audience. If we were to choose Saint Paul, then it would have alienated Minneapolis. Instead, we chose to tell the story of our state and not even of our team. Nothing on it says ‘Twins,’ and nothing has the ‘TC’ logo; it’s all about telling the story of Minnesota.”

White name and numbers on the back, wave-inspired embellishment on the numbers

Honouring a state rather than a city is quite uncommon in this series, but they aren’t alone; the Colorado Rockies patterned their City Connect uniform after the green and white mountain-themed State of Colorado license plates.

While they were a little off the path regarding the geographic region they focused on, they did go along with most of the league when it came to trying something outside their usual comfort zone, an opportunity the Twins quickly jumped on.

SHOP: Minnesota Twins new City Connect caps, jerseys, and more available now!

Inside the back collar is a state map of Minnesota with a North Star on Target Field

“The main thing, when we thought about the goals of this City Connect, was for us to be bold, and because we’re ‘Minnesota nice,’ we tend to keep things neutral; we don’t tend to sway one way or another,” Hinkel said. “This was an opportunity to be bold, to push it and get uncomfortable. You always know there will be people who love it and people who hate it, no matter what we do. This was our chance to be bold and to use this as an opportunity, like all clubs, to engage that younger, more diverse audience and pique their interest.”

The Twins will debut their City Connect uniforms on-field on Friday, June 14, when they host the Oakland Athletics at 7:10 p.m. The club will also wear them for every remaining Friday home game at Target Field this season, along with three additional Saturday home contests (June 15, July 6, and July 20) for 11 games.


MINNESOTA TWINS 2024 CITY CONNECT UNIFORM SCHEDULE

Friday, June 14 vs. Oakland Athletics
Saturday, June 15 vs. Oakland Athletics
Friday, July 5 vs. Houston Astros
Saturday, July 6 vs. Houston Astros
Saturday, July 20 vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Friday, August 2 vs. Chicago White Sox
Friday, August 9 vs. Cleveland Guardians
Friday, August 23 vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Friday, August 30 vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Friday, September 13 vs. Cincinnati Reds
Friday, September 27 vs. Baltimore Orioles

@sportslogos.net

Minnesota Twins City Connect! Breaking down the brand new Minnesota Twins City Connect uniform, the ripple effect paying tribute to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. #Nike #MLB #CityConnect #MinnesotaTwins #MNTwins Full story: https://news.sportslogos.net/2024/06/10/the-ripple-effect-minnesota-twins-launch-new-city-connect-uniform/baseball/

♬ original sound – SportsLogos.Net

Fans can purchase the Twins’ Nike City Connect jersey and apparel collection in person and exclusively at the Twins New Era Team Store at Target Field. If you can’t make it to Target Field, you can get yours right here, right now, via the Twins Official Online Shop.

Minnesota is the 28th and (unless the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics ever opt-in) last MLB team to join the Nike MLB City Connect program. Debuting in 2021, the series was launched to celebrate each city’s deep-rooted history, culture, and spirit that continues to bring clubs and their communities together. The Twins were one of nine teams to unveil a new City Connect uniform in 2024, with the Los Angeles Dodgers (on to their second City Connect design) now the only team left still to release one this season.

“10,000 LAKES” in white, with a North Star for the comma, is on the jersey’s jock tag

Now’s a great time to revisit the previous City Connect uniform releases that we’ve covered. Yes, I’ve written in-depth articles like this about every single one of them. (I’m quite tired) You can check out any of the team’s City Connect uniform stories below.


CITY CONNECT UNIFORM STORIES TEAM-BY-TEAM


Finally, below is a breakdown of the new Twins City Connect uniform as reported directly by the team, in case you want to just hear it straight from the source.

TWINS CITY CONNECT UNIFORM PRESS RELEASE

Embodying this majestic land “where the water reflects the sky”, the Twins’ Nike City Connect uniform is a celebration of the 10,000 lakes that shape and unite us. Design details and inspirations are outlined below.

Colours

  • The Depth of our Waters: The Twins’ City Connect uniform is soaked in the blues of our state’s water, with subtle shifts from dark to light and back again, like waves weaving across our lakes. Yellow accents shine like a ray of Minnesota sunlight.
  • Golden Hour: Deep blue, warm yellow, radiant pink – and that blissful feeling of a Minnesota lakeside sunset, reflected in the piping and sleeve patch.

Uniform Details

  • The Ripple (Pattern): With a fluid pattern that shines and shimmers like reflections off the water, the jersey ripples with every move. There’s an energy in Minnesota’s lakes; this uniform reflects the current that carries us all.
  • One MN (Wordmark): Connected by our waters and guided by our North Star, Minnesotans are more than any one city – we are one state. The curves of each letter flow together like waves, uniting the “MN” just as our lakes and rivers link communities across our state. At the top is a beacon for Minnesota and the Twins: The North Star.
  • For the Love of the Loon (Sleeve Patch): Upon the sunset waters of our 10,000 lakes flies Minnesota’s state bird – the loon. The body, a single raindrop – when it touches down, a ripple. The eyes, the stitches of a baseball – like our great game itself, a unifying thread. The beak, the North Star – a beacon that, like the loon itself, leads the way.
  • 10,000 Lakes (Jock Tag): The Twins’ custom Nike City Connect font mimics the movement of waves, because the water brings Minnesotans out and brings us together. We are the Land of 10,000 Lakes. United as one.
  • Our Home (Neckline): We are Minnesota, inside and out. The state mark sits upon the inside neckline, a symbol of the Twins’ everlasting connection to our home.
  • Drip from Head to Toe (Socks): With varying shades of blue, bright yellow, ripples, and the “MN” wordmark, the socks complete the look.

Cap Details

  • Our Great State (Cap Mark): The cap honours Minnesota, a place of unmistakable beauty and uncommon spirit. A yellow state silhouette frames the glowing northern lights that illuminate our skies, the depth of our waters and the North Star that guides us. “10,000 Lakes” is written on the cap’s right side, a simple but proud reflection of our home.
  • The Waters of Lake Minnetonka (Brim): Under the cap’s brim, a nod to the Purple One. The topography of Lake Minnetonka is printed here, honouring Prince’s love for the water and all its purifying powers.

Fans can purchase their own brand-new Minnesota Twins City Connect caps, jerseys, jackets, shirts, pennants, socks, and more online right now, right here.



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