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The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee)


Since 2004, they've played in an arena sponsored by one of Memphis' most enduring businesses, FedEx. And now, starting this fall, the Grizzlies will play in jerseys adorned with the iconic FedEx logo. The Grizzlies announced the jersey sponsorship, the first in team history, as part of a lavish ceremony Thursday evening at, appropriately enough, FedExForum.

The newly-revealed jerseys aren't a huge departure from the existing jerseys, with similar colors and schemes carrying over from years past. The major stylistic difference is the reimagined wordmark, with the Grizzlies script taking on a curvier look on each of the three jerseys. There is also an asymmetric aspect to the uniforms, with one side having a different logo and style to the other. Thick piping adorns one side of the uniform while a much larger Grizzlies logo appears on the other.

"Love 'em. Love 'em. They're the best thing I've seen," said Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley, who joined Dillon Brooks as the Grizzlies' player representatives at the event. Conley reiterated his expectation that he'd be ready to play at the beginning of the season while gushing over the new duds. For his part, Brooks said the baby blue uniform is his preference, noting that it complements his skin tone.

The FedEx jersey sponsorship is a multi-year one, and one that each side discussed after watching the NBA's jersey sponsorship for the first year of its existence league-wide.

"It's just a great fit," said Grizzlies President of Business Operations Jason Wexler. "They get so much out of it nationally and internationally, and we're proud to have the FedEx logo adorn our chest."

Twenty-two of the league's teams now sport a sponsor on their jersey, with businesses spending over one billion dollars collectively on those deals. It has been a boon to what has already been a very lucrative year in the NBA.

The Grizzlies also introduced a redesigned home court on Thursday, with the painted area a solid baby blue, and, uniquely, the grain of the wood on the floor running top to bottom rather than side to side. They will be the only such team to feature such a configuration. Wexler said it was by design. "It's part of the narrative of our organization - Memphis cuts against the grain."

The jerseys and court will be on display beginning with the team's preseason opener Oct. 5 against the Atlanta Hawks.

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August 3, 2018


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