Seattle Sounders FC has revealed its new adidas secondary kit for the 2023-2024 Major League Soccer seasons, a dynamic new look designed to celebrate the life and legacy of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, a global icon who spent his formative years in the Emerald City and was buried in Seattle following his passing at the age of only 32. Officially known as The Bruce Lee Kit, the uniform stands out in shades of red and black with sunbeam yellow accents, alongside a bevy of special details lovingly chosen to display and further highlight Lee’s legacy and philosophies.
The Seattle Sounders 2023 away kit was developed through collaboration with Shannon Lee and the Bruce Lee Family Company and is part of MLS and adidas’ “Community Kit” line, introduced in 2021 to allow clubs the opportunity to create secondary kits rooted in individual meaning for each team. The Bruce Lee Kit joins Sounders FC’s inaugural Community Kit, The Jimi Hendrix Kit, as another unique tribute to a figure who not only looms large in Seattle, but whose life was rooted in impactful principles and whose legacy is still embraced today.
“We are absolutely thrilled to finally unveil The Bruce Lee Kit to Seattle and the world,” said Sounders FC Majority Owner Adrian Hanauer. “This uniform is a completely unique look for the club and one that we are proud to put on the pitch, promoting the inspiring life and teachings of Bruce Lee. It was an honor for the club to work hand-in-hand with Shannon Lee, the Bruce Lee Family Company and the Bruce Lee Foundation to develop such a beautiful and distinctive tribute to their beloved family member, and Sounders FC is looking forward to furthering deliberate work in the community to bring Bruce’s story and teachings to life.”
“I am so honored that the Sounders wanted to create this kit around my father’s legacy and that it’s not just a kit but a whole collaboration that incudes community impact and true legacy,” said Shannon Lee, daughter of Bruce Lee and CEO of The Bruce Lee Family Company. “My father has a deep and dear history with Seattle as a place of learning, teaching, friendship, growth, inspiration, love and ultimately rest. And so, it feels fortuitous to come together with the Sounders to represent him not only as the Dragon he was, but also reflect him more deeply within the community that helped to shape him so fundamentally. What an amazing tribute!”
Born in San Francisco and raised in Hong Kong, Lee moved to Seattle in 1959, where he finished high school and attended the University of Washington – meeting his wife, Linda, and opening his first martial arts school, the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute, which is still operational in Seattle today.
Considered by many to be the most influential martial artist of all time and a pop culture icon of the 20th century, Lee lived his life boldly and by his principles of harmony, inclusion, self-expression and action. Though he passed away in 1973 at only age 32, his influence still reaches across the globe, through martial arts, film and values.
As part of club’s Purpose Beyond the Pitch objective, Sounders FC is donating proceeds up to $50,000 from the first 30 days of jersey sales made at official team Pro Shop locations and on MLSstore.com to the Bruce Lee Foundation and Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. These funds will be intentionally invested to develop youth programming and curriculum emphasizing the intersection of Lee’s teachings with soccer, movement and art, as well as expanding opportunities for youth programs and experiences that share Lee’s teachings, history and legacy across Washington State.
“As Wing Luke Museum celebrates its 55th year, we are inspired by the teachings and inspiration of our Hometown Hero, Bruce Lee,” said Wing Luke Museum Executive Director Joël B. Tan. “The courageous and creative spirit of Bruce Lee lives within all of us, and we acknowledge his living legacy and contributions to our Seattle communities with glowing pride. We invite our local to global ‘ohana to support Purpose Beyond the Pitch to empower and educate our next generation of hometown heroes.”
In addition to its $50,000 investment, Sounders FC also commits to building a RAVE Foundation mini pitch in 2024 celebrating the teachings of Bruce Lee, in collaboration with the Bruce Lee Foundation and Wing Luke Museum. RAVE Foundation mini pitches provide a safe area for youth to play and are unrentable, meaning they remain open and available at all times to the communities they were built to serve.
The Bruce Lee Kit continues Sounders FC’s trend, set by The Jimi Hendrix Kit, of embracing daring, engaging designs for the team’s Community Kit look. The Bruce Lee Kit marks the first MLS-era Sounders uniform to showcase the color red, made brighter and more immediately striking by the sunbeam yellow accents – a color Lee embraced as representing the center of everything, associated with nature, balance and heroism. Wrapping across the jersey chest is a hand-drawn dragon, symbolizing strength, power and the unrelenting and forward-thinking spirits of Bruce Lee and Sounders FC.
The jock tag, found on the bottom left corner of each jersey front, features a reproduction of Bruce Lee’s official signature, both his name and the loong mark. The loong, or dragon, has special significance in Chinese culture and Bruce Lee would often include a stylized loong character when signing his name.
On the back of the jersey, Bruce Lee’s Core Symbol serves as the neck hit. The emblem, created by Bruce Lee to represent his art of Jeet Kune Do and his personal philosophy, is characterized by two opposing directional arrows around the traditional Yin Yang symbol, or Taijitu, highlighting the perpetual and constant flow of yin and yang. Circling the mark in Chinese letters is the phrase, “Using no way as way; having no limitation as limitation.” This phrase is one of Bruce Lee’s teachings, with the idea of being limitless a core tenet of his approach to his art and his life.
The left jersey sleeve showcases the MLS crest alongside the Apple TV logo. Major League Soccer and Apple announced a groundbreaking partnership last year, seeing Apple become the exclusive destination for MLS beginning in 2023. The partnership is a historic first for a major professional sports league and allows fans around the world to stream every single MLS match through the Apple TV app, without any local blackouts or restrictions.
Sounders FC’s new jersey front partner, Providence, features on the jersey chest, while the right jersey sleeve features the logo of the Puyallup Tribe. The tribe and its Emerald Queen Casino are proud partners of the Rave Green, with the EQC logo featuring on sleeves of the club’s primary kit and the Puyallup Tribe logo on the secondary kit.
Photo Credits: Seattle Sounders, adidas, MLS