ORLANDO, Fla. (March 31, 2021) — Paying tribute to Central Florida’s iconic Space Coast and the many trailblazing women whose accomplishments inspired generations, Orlando Pride has unveiled the Ad Astra kit, presented by Orlando Health. Released on the final day of Women’s History Month, the out-of-this-world kit will serve as the Pride’s primary jersey for the 2021 and 2022 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) seasons and is now available for purchase at ShopOrlandoPride.com or at The Den, the Club’s official team store at Exploria Stadium, with shipment available worldwide.
“While this jersey itself is special, all that it represents is truly extraordinary, inspired by our very own Space Coast and some of history's iconic women. As a Club that strives to break barriers each and everyday, we are proud to celebrate the women, both on our Orlando Pride squad and beyond, who do the same,” Orlando City SC and Orlando Pride CEO Alex Leitão said. “Thanks to the dedication of our team and support of our partners at Orlando Health, we are thrilled to really ‘shoot for the stars’ in our unveil of this kit and to continue investing in the women’s game, including the launch of this jersey. We hope our fans love it as much as we do.”
In a historic moment in league history, the Pride unveiled the kit on Wednesday afternoon by launching the jersey into outer space, a groundbreaking promotional investment from both the Club and its presenting partner, Orlando Health.
In addition to the Ad Astra kit, the Club also sent a limited amount of specialty CITYiD mission patches into space, which will be included with the first 100 jerseys that are ordered by Pride Season Ticket Members. Additional mission patches, which were also sent into space, will be available as limited-edition merchandise and speciality auctions, with proceeds from the auctions benefiting local womens’ initiatives.
The spacecraft’s cargo compartment also carried an official 2021 NWSL match ball, which will be presented and used to kick off the Pride’s 2021 regular season home opener in May.
The top of the Ad Astra kit features a rich black color that is scattered with stars — a recognition of the many influential women in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) industry — and is emboldened by an all-white crest, the first time the Club’s jersey has featured a knockout crest design. The space-like onyx top half seamlessly transitions into the Club’s iconic purple on the bottom, with the two colors meeting in a star-inspired pattern.
In an additional detail, the words “Ad Astra” are included at the bottom of the jersey as part of the design, which is styled after NASA’s many mission patches. Meaning “To the Stars”, the latin phrase that is common to space explorers is written in a NASA-inspired font and surrounded by three prominent stars. Those stars symbolize the immortal "Hidden Figures" of NASA — Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — the three female mathematicians and so-called "human computers" who broke color and gender barriers at NASA, and helped John Glenn become the first American to orbit Earth.
The Ad Astra embellishment also features a space capsule in a nod to Project Mercury, the spacecraft that carried the first Americans to the space, while the white and blue lines remind us of the paramount flight trajectory hand-calculated by Johnson.
Orlando Health, the Pride’s jersey sponsor and Official Medical Team, is prominently featured on the front of the kit for the sixth-straight season, a partnership that dates back to the team’s inception.
“Our medical team is witness to the accomplishments of each of the women on Orlando Pride to reach this level of success,” says Craig Mintzer, MD, chief medical officer for Orlando Pride and orthopedic surgeon at Orlando Health Jewett Orthopedic Institute. “It’s truly an honor to see the Orlando Health name on the front of the kit and to help these amazing athletes stay in top condition so they can continue the work they do to inspire and motivate others.”
In addition to the Ad Astra kit, the Club will continue to celebrate and honor powerful women and minorities during the 2021 season. Prior to the kit launch, the Pride helped sponsor a showing of Woman in Motion, a documentary on the iconic and inspirational Nichelle Nichols. Nichols, who is known for her groundbreaking work as a Black actress on Star Trek, is also celebrated for her tireless work to recruit women and minority candidates to NASA, including the first woman in space, Sally Ride.
As part of a promotional photoshoot at Kennedy Space Center, the Pride honored Nichols as well as the three Hidden Figures, wearing the names of the immortal women on the backs of Alex Morgan (Nichols), Ashlyn Harris (Johnson), Marta (Vaughan) and Ali Krieger (Jackson).
The Pride continue preparations for the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup, which kicks off on April 10 when the team travels to face expansion side Racing Louisville FC. Fans will have their first opportunity to see the Ad Astra kit in person on April 14, when the Pride host Sky Blue FC at Exploria Stadium. Tickets for that match, as well as the Pride’s April 21 match against the Washington Spirit, are available at Orlando-Pride.com or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
2021 Season Ticket Memberships are also available at the link here.