Before kickoff of each Sounders FC home match, Jimi Hendrix's classic rendition of "All Along the Watchtower" rings down from the rafters of Lumen Field.
A Seattle icon with a statue still sitting in Capitol Hill, Hendrix is perhaps the greatest musical legend to emerge from the Emerald City. He put his signature on the world, and now, his signature also resides on the Seattle Sounders' newest jersey, "The Jimi Hendrix Kit."
Every year, Seattle unveils one new jersey, either a primary, or a secondary kit, which has been occupied by "Nightfall" during the last two seasons. On Thursday, the club unveiled the new secondary jersey, "inspired by Hendrix’s love of color and psychedelic patterns," a club release states.
“We couldn’t be more excited and proud to finally introduce The Jimi Hendrix Kit to the world; a true intersection of sports, music and pop culture,” Sounders FC Owner and President of Business Operations Peter Tomozawa said. “In his short life, Jimi gifted us with his talent, and, even more so, with his generous and loving spirit. We wanted this kit to embody that colorful, creative personality, while also using it as a way to further good, just as Jimi used his own platform.”
As Tomozawa mentions with that further good, the jersey will have an enormous impact off the field as well. The Sounders are partnering with the Puyallup Tribe's Emerald Queen Casino, a new partner of Sounders FC, to donate proceeds up to $50,000 from the first 30 days of the new jersey sales to five local nonprofits: The Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation, the Museum of Pop Culture, the Northwest African American Museum, RAVE Foundation, and the Tacoma Public Schools Indian Education Program.
The funds, in alignment with Sounders FC’s Social Justice Framework, will go toward empowering local BIPOC youth, providing access to sports, art and music for local BIPOC youth, and honoring the legacy of Jimi Hendrix.
Additionally, the Hendrix-inspired design is part of Major League Soccer and Adidas’ Community Kit line, "introduced this season to allow clubs the opportunity to create secondary kits rooted in individual meaning for each team," the club's release states.
The process of designing The Jimi Hendrix Kit lasted years, which you can read more about HERE. The final product went on sale this morning at official Pro Shop locations and MLSStore.com.
Sounders FC announced in their release that the first 100 Season Members to purchase one of the jerseys at the Lumen Field Pro Shop will also receive a free, limited-edition Jimi Hendrix Signature Scarf. "The scarf features the same bold colors seen throughout the kit, with a pattern inspired by the guitar strap Hendrix wore at his famous 1969 Woodstock performance."
“Seattle was and always will be Jimi's home. The Sounders are Seattle's own, as well,” said Janie Hendrix, President and CEO of Experience Hendrix, LLC. “Collaborating with the Sounders to create a jersey is our way of playing for the home team. We're celebrating two local heroes and at the same time supporting a cause that unifies. 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.”
More features on the jersey, which you can see more of below, includes Hendrix's autograph in the bottom left corner of the front, and on the neck, lyrics from his song "Straight Ahead", reading, "We got to stand, side by side,” signifying the club's "belief in the importance of coming together, both on the pitch as supporters, fans, players and coaches stand together on matchdays, but also in the community and as citizens of the wider world," the release states. In addition to Zulily continuing as the Sounders front jersey partner, the right sleeve of The Jimi Hendrix Kit will also feature the logo of the Puyallup Tribe.
Today through Sunday, March 28, fans who visit the Lumen Field Pro Shop will have the opportunity to take a photo in front of a special Hendrix backdrop as well. Head to the stadium to pick up to your own Jimi Hendrix Kit, grab a photo, and do your part to benefit the community.