Based on our NikeConnect demo, everything works seamlessly and with little effort. To connect your jersey to your phone or tablet, all you have to do is fire up the NikeConnect app, wait for a "Ready to Scan" prompt, tap your device on the NFC hangtag and, voila, you're good to go. After that, you'll be greeted by a video message from a player on the team whose jersey you bought. Right now, because the season hasn't started, certain content is from last year. But Nike says that as soon as the new campaign begins, you'll see game highlights, GIFs and new products pop-up.
In addition to those offerings, Nike's teaming up with Spotify to serve you playlists curated by NBA athletes. And there's also a 2K18 tie-in, which will give you "boosts" to use in the video game. Again, all of the content you'll see in the app is based on whichever NBA Connected jersey you have. Say yours is from the Warriors' Kevin Durant -- then you should expect your app's feed to be filled with stuff related to him. That includes being able to buy limited-edition versions of his signature shoe, which will give you an advantage over shoppers who don't have a jersey.
Nike says the key with Connect was to not sell the jerseys at a premium, or at least not for more than NBA jerseys tend to cost. They're priced between $110 and $200, with the most expensive being the "Authentic" models, which are made from the same materials as the ones NBA players wear. You'll notice subtle design cues throughout the jerseys, such as a golden tag that pays homage to the number of championships your team has won. The stitched Swoosh logo on the front is also notable, particularly because the league didn't let Adidas display its own in years past.
Beyond its current app functionality, which may be a bit gimmicky, there's plenty of potential for Nike to use Connect in more ways. What if the company adopted the technology to fight counterfeits? Something like what's being done in football, where NFC tags are being used to help teams keep track of memorabilia. When asked that question, a spokesperson said the company's certainly looking into all options available, though nothing is officially in the works at the moment.