The San Francisco 49ers unveiled their first alternative uniform in team history today, introducing a new look to their team uniforms, by bringing the team’s traditional accent color of black to the forefront as the primary color of the team’s jerseys and pants. The first alternate uniform in team history, it includes the team’s traditionally featured colors of red and gold as accent colors. The 49ers can wear the new alternate uniform in as many as two games during the 2015 season and will make that announcement at a later date.
The unveiling of the new uniforms took place in front of approximately 10,000 49ers fans at the 3rd Annual 49ers Draft Party presented by Bud Light. The event was held next door to Levi’s® Stadium at Great America Pavilion, home of the Red Zone Rally pregame experience on the grounds of California’s Great America. The 49ers Draft Party was also broadcast live on 49ers.com.
The 49ers last made changes to their uniforms prior to the 2009 season, when the team reintroduced the classic color of the 49ers, alongside the return of the grey facemask to the helmet. The new alternate uniform was the result of a coordinated effort between the 49ers, their players, Nike and the NFL. Full color images of the new uniform and additional exclusive content is currently available at www.49ers.com/RGB.
The original 49ers color scheme was red and white, with silver being a prominent color in several early team uniforms. Gold and black were both added to the team’s brand identity and color palate in the 1950’s. Black has primarily served as the team’s accent color, except on the practice field. During practice in recent years, 49ers quarterbacks have been wearing black jerseys with red numbers – a color scheme that represents authority, confidence and power. This connection inspired the black alternate uniform – a player-requested design meant to transfer the sleek, sophisticated style from the practice field to game day.
“After our QBs started wearing black practice jerseys, a number of players told us they’d like to see black jerseys for the entire team,” said 49ers COO Al Guido. “Black has been a primary 49ers accent color for a long time and part of our brand identity since the beginning, so we feel like we’ve honored the team’s history and heritage while creating a modern look that our players and fans will enjoy wearing.”
The new black jersey and pants convey the team’s strong will and relay a power instantly recognizable to athletes and fans alike. Following true 49ers tradition, this new look preserves the team’s customary word mark at the center of the chest. The distinctive arm stripes and established number font are also retained. All team-specific graphic elements are rendered in striking red against the dignified black base. The new black look will be integrated into the team’s existing suite of uniform options and will be paired with their existing gold helmet and traditional white and red socks.
“I feel like putting on a black jersey doesn’t say anything nice, it says we’re ready for business,” said 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman. “I feel like that’s the kind of mindset we need to have when we walk out onto the field. We’re about business; we have a goal in mind and that’s to get to the Super Bowl.”
Black was added as the first accent color for shadowed numbers in the mid-1950s, like those worn during the heydays of the Million Dollar Backfield and emulated by the 1994 Super Bowl championship team. Black accents returned when the jerseys changed in 1996 for the franchise’s 50th anniversary and then went away from uniform use when the “throwback” style came in 2009. Still, black has always been a part of team identity from the days of the gun-toting miner logo to the first iteration of the “SF” oval logo that began appearing on helmets in 1962 and through the current version of the “SF” oval and word mark.
“I love the jerseys. I think it’s a fresh look,” said 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. “This is the first time we’ve had a black jersey in our team’s history and it’s something that the fans are going to be excited about. It’s cool that we get to wear the first alternate uniform in 49ers history.
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