2019 MLS Cup champions the Seattle Sounders have launched a kit inspired by local hero Jimi Hendrix, who was born in the city in 1942.
The purple and orange kit was inspired by Hendrix’s “love of colour and psychedelic patterns”, and features the guitarist’s signature stamped on the front of the jersey, while the words “We got to stand, side by side” appear on the shirt’s neck tape. The words are taken from the lyrics to Straight Ahead, released on the posthumous Hendrix album First Rays of the New Rising Sun in 1997.
“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,” says Sounders FC Owner and President of Business Operations Peter Tomozawa. “Jimi’s legacy looms large, not just here in Seattle where he was born and raised, or for the Sounders, where his iconic rendition of All Along the Watchtower has been a part of matchday tradition for years, but across the entire world.
“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 colourful, creative personality, while also using it as a way to further good, just as Jimi used his own platform.”
Proceeds from the first 30 days of kit sales will be donated to five local non-profit organisations: The Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation, the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM), RAVE Foundation and the Tacoma Public Schools Indian Education Program.
“Seattle was and always will be Jimi’s home. The Sounders are Seattle’s own, as well,” says Janie Hendrix, President & 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 honouring 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.”
To celebrate the kit’s release, local group The Black Tones performed All Along The Watchtower at Lumen Field, the Sounders’ stadium.