Express x NBA Collection

Collage by Claire Bowles

This fall, Express unveiled it’s second multiyear partnership with the NBA called “NBA Game Changers” campaign and includes a Performance Collection as well as an NBA-licensed men’s collection, out now, and women’s collection, out in 2019. Five of the best basketball players were chosen to be the face of this partnership, including Pacer’s Victor Oladipo! This new collection plays off of last year’s giving consumers more of an inside look into the world of basketball, what it takes to be a professional athlete, and how fashion gives players an extra push of confidence.

“This season, expect bigger plays and increased energy as our NBA Game Changers take their game and personal style to the next level in our Performance Collection,” said David Kornberg, Express President and CEO. “We’re also thrilled to offer our customers the opportunity to sport their own personal style and rep their favorite team with our new NBA-licensed collection.”

To get a clear play by play, PATTERN spoke with Jim Hilt, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Officer at Express. Check out the dunk worthy photos below and shop Express here!

Samantha Ripperger: How did this project start with Express and NBA?

Jim Hilt: We initially partnered with the NBA on our first-ever “NBA Game Changers” campaign ahead of the 2017-2018 season. This is our second iteration of the partnership, which builds on Express’s history of collaborating with inspiring individuals and organizations. Our NBA athlete partners demonstrate the true spirit of what it means to be a Game Changer, both in basketball and in fashion—and we’re excited to see where this season takes us. Additionally, we’re thrilled to expand our marketing partnership with the NBA, which includes a licensed collection debuting in December.

SR: How did Express choose who would be the faces of this second campaign?

JH: We partnered with five NBA athletes who each exemplify the Game Changer persona of being driven, self-starters who have authentic stories of hard work, grit and perseverance. This year’s campaign features NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers, Mo Bamba of the Orlando Magic and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, two of this year’s top NBA Draft picks, as well as current NBA stars John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks and Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets. 

The campaign captures the essence of each athlete, what drives him to succeed and how fashion gives him the confidence to take on what’s next in his day and life—whether that’s suiting up in an Express Performance suit for game day or relaxing in jeans on days off.

SR: What factors went into the designs of the Performance Collection?

JH: Our moisture-wicking, stretch Performance Suits, Dress Shirts, Sweaters and Jeans are designed to keep you cool and move with you… whether you’re shooting hoops like our NBA Game Changers, suiting up for a presentation, or dressing up for a night on the town. We want our customers to feel comfortable, confident and ready to take on what’s next while wearing Express Performance.

SR: Did the players get to help design this collection?

JH: While the players didn’t have a hand in the design process, we met with them prior to each photo shoot to learn more about their personal style and what makes them feel confident, from their favorite suits to the colors they’re drawn to. We also asked each player about their game day looks and how their closet has evolved since becoming a professional athlete. Through this, our goal is to bring our customers closer to the game by showcasing merchandise that is authentic to the athletes that inspire them.

SR: What can we expect to see from the Express NBA Licensed Collection? What can we expect to see from the women’s collection dropping next year?

JH: Our NBA-licensed collection will include a robust assortment of men’s apparel from graphic tees to fleece styles, and will expand into additional product categories including blazers, dress shirts, ties and underwear in 2019. We’re also planning to introduce a women’s collection next year as well. The collection will be available in select stores across the U.S., including five stores in the Indianapolis market (College Mall, Greenwood Park Mall, Circle Center Mall, Castleton Square Mall, and Hamilton Town Center) and online at express.com.

SR: As part of the Indianapolis community, we are fans of the Pacers! What what was it like working with Pacers player Victor Oladipo?

JH: Working with Victor Oladipo has been an incredibly collaborative experience. As an NBA All-Star, it’s clear that Victor is driven to succeed, and not to mention has great style, so it’s been a win-win working with him (pun intended!). He shows up to our photo shoots with the same energy and drive you see on the court.

Check out the licensed collection here and the performance suits here.