The San Francisco 49ers announced late Sunday evening a new year-long marketing campaign to honor and celebrate the past 75 years as well as kick off their 2021 NFL Draft celebration.
Building on their Faithful To The Bay campaign that was initiated leading up to the start of last season, the Bay Area’s oldest professional sports team announced last night a handful of ways in which they would be celebrating their storied past while laying the foundation for the next 75 years of 49ers greatness.
The 75th anniversary campaign is highlighted by a commemorative patch and logo that draws inspiration from the 49ers Saloon font as well as different generations of the 49ers historic block jersey numbers from the past. The 49ers in-house design team chose the diamond jubilee as it was the shape for the NFL’s own 75th anniversary patch back in 1994, the last time the 49ers won a Super Bowl.
As per NFL requirement, any changes to jerseys or logos need to be made well over a year in advance. For Aaron Llavore, the 49ers Art Director since 2017, this meant beginning to brainstorm for the 75th anniversary while simultaneously preparing for a deep 2019-2020 playoff run in parallel with planning their FTTB campaign that debuted in 2020.
“We started brainstorming and mockups in November of 2019,” Llavore told SFist in an exclusive interview. “Our first exercise for the 75th anniversary was before that Super Bowl run, and we knew we needed to hire a new graphic designer.”
Around that same time, the Niners received a cold email from a college student who had used one of his final projects to design a 75th anniversary sports package for his favorite hometown team: the San Francisco 49ers. The PDF with the 75th anniversary mockup was not in a diamond shape, but the depth and research apparent in the work was the basis for why Brandon Tam was eventually hired to help the team cross the finish line. (Side note: Shoot your shot!)
“The brand marketing team was in close communication with Nike and the NFL, but the creative was all us,” Llavore explained. “Our CMO Alex Chang has a really good eye, a really good sense for what he wants and what looks good, but he also gives us a ton of creative freedom and we used that to do countless explorations of different shapes and designs.”
The 49ers 75th Anniversary logo and patch will be featured on the 49ers 2021 NFL Draft jerseys as well as in-season jerseys, and game balls and coins for all home games. The 68,500 Niner fans in attendance on Sundays this season will remark at the stadium changes, from interior and exterior signage to light pole banners and jumbotron animations and 3D renders, while millions of Faithful around the world will still be able to take part in this momentous celebration throughout the year via different activations.
As another branch of Faithful To The Bay, the year-long 75th Anniversary celebration will build upon the celebrity list established throughout last year’s campaign, continuing with their video series Verified Faithful and heavily featuring alumni and previous great teams in the franchise’s history.
Similarly to FTTB, this new campaign will feature all new apparel and fan gear. Despite selling through most items within a few hours the previous year, the 49ers organization hopes to keep this year’s clothing runs even more exclusive.
49ers fans will be happy to know there will be a ton of activations directed at them this year, with the first slated to begin this Thursday night at 4:25 PM PST with the “Countdown to Draft presented by Mountain Mike’s Pizza”. Featuring surprise special guests and streaming on 49ers.com, the 49ers app, and YouTube Live, the 49ers Draft countdown will provide a detailed breakdown of the entire draft process and all of the 49ers’ potential prospects.
Questions have been absolutely spiraling for weeks since the 49ers traded up to get the #3 pick, with fans and sports media alike wondering whether the team will take Mac Jones, Justin Fields, or Trey Lance with their pick, as head coach Kyle Shanahan and General Manager John Lynch have been extremely tight lipped.
To view all videos and the full release, head over to 49ers.com/75, and tune in Thursday night for an in-depth look inside the history and future of the franchise.
Top image: 49ers.com.