Nike is bringing its NFC-enabled replica sports jerseys to the soccer sphere for the first time through its partnership with English Premier League club Chelsea. The $90 shirt, which the likes of Eden Hazard will wear in Europa League games, features a NikeConnect label. Fans who use the NikeConnect mobile app to connect to the label will gain access to exclusive content and experiences, including playlists, the chance to win tickets and the opportunity to collaborate with Nike designers on a "fan jersey."
Nike and Chelsea are selling the shirt in several countries, including some in which the app is not currently available, which renders the connectivity aspect somewhat useless in those locales. However, fans of the Blues in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Spain can use the app to access the content if they buy the shirt.
The jersey, which follows similar efforts with NBA replica shirts, is certainly gimmicky. Yet such tech could provide a way to verify merchandise is authentic and even help identify and recover stolen goods.