49ers woo ‘The Faithful’ sartorial tech way


SF49ers partners with Avery Dennison Image: Levi's Stadium

The National Football League (NFL) team San Francisco 49ers (US) and Avery Dennison, a global leader in materials science and solutions that connect the physical and digital worlds, recently announced an exclusive partnership that will provide ‘The Faithful’ (49ers fans) with new fan engagement avenues via digitally-connected clothing technology.

‘San Francisco 49ers’ stated that as part of the announcement, Avery Dennison has become the official cutting-edge embellishment partner of the 49ers and will introduce digital connectivity into select 49ers Fanatics merchandise in the form of smart embellishments and digital labels.

This deal also marks the first major foray into American Football for Embelex, Avery Dennison’s solution for on-garment branding that provides digitally-connected and sustainable options for personalization.

The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team based in the San Francisco Bay Area, US. The 49ers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the league’s National Football Conference (NFC) West division, and play their home games at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

The 68,500-capacity Levi’s Stadium is an American football stadium located in Santa Clara, California (US), just outside San Jose in the San Francisco Bay Area. It has served as the home venue for the National Football League’s San Francisco 49ers since 2014. The stadium is located approximately 40 miles South of San Francisco.

Avery Dennison Corporation is a multinational manufacturer and distributor of pressure-sensitive adhesive materials, apparel branding labels and tags, radio frequency identification (RFID) inlays, and specialty medical products. The company is a member of the Fortune 500 and is headquartered in Mentor, Ohio, US.

‘San Francisco 49ers’ further stated that highlighting brands’ and their reputations for innovation, members of ‘The Faithful’ will soon be able to purchase customizable 49ers merchandise and unlock digital content all at the same time.

Avery Dennison’s revolutionary smart embellishments and digital labeling technology can be scanned using a smartphone camera, enriching the fan experience and accessing exclusive content unavailable anywhere else online. This innovative merchandise will be exclusive to the 49ers Team Store presented by Visa at Levi’s® Stadium.

Maintained Kevin Hilton, 49ers Vice-President of Corporate Partnerships, “No matter where you travel, there’s always a good chance you will see someone wearing 49ers merchandise. Avery Dennison will strengthen our already powerful retail business by opening a new world of possibility through technology. We look forward to collaborating on ideas that can serve as a blueprint for global sports franchises seeking ways to interact with their fans in this digital age.”

On October 23rd, 2022, the 49ers will host their peer team Kansas City Chiefs for a Super Bowl LIV rematch at Levi’s Stadium. In celebration on the team’s annual alumni weekend, the 49ers will honor newly inducted Pro Football Hall of Famer and 49ers legend Bryant Young at halftime. Avery Dennison plans to honor Young by digitally enabling a special edition garment that provides exclusive opportunities to those who purchase.

Maintained Michael Barton, Senior Vice- President and General Manager, Apparel Solutions, RBIS, Avery Dennison, “It’s fantastic to see the 49ers surprising and inspiring ‘The Faithful’ with this cutting-edge clothing technology. Digitally-connected team wear is a fantastic way to engage with fans, giving them dynamic ways to learn, share on social media and interact with the teams they love. A new era of digital fan engagement is emerging, and sportswear provides the perfect gateway to build ongoing dialog with fans beyond the stadium. We’ve been supplying Embelex to some of the biggest names in sports for over 20 years, including the English Premier League (UK) and Major League Soccer (MLS) (US).”

Added Barton, “From national teams, to major tournaments, to fan wear, we are highly tuned to the sports sector, supporting both big franchises and grassroots communities.”

A second line of digitally-connected merchandise will be released later this season. Avery Dennison will also open an Embelex personalization station inside the 49ers Team Store in 2023.

Avery Dennison is the first new 49ers partner whose rights extend to the United Kingdom, one of the team’s international home marketing areas (IHMA). Both brands will maintain a constant focus on growing ‘The Faithful’ abroad through new retail experiences. The 49ers obtained marketing rights in the United Kingdom and Mexico last December as part of the NFL’s international home marketing area (IHMA) program.

Launched in January 2022, the IHMA initiative grants NFL clubs access to international territories for marketing, fan engagement and commercialization as part of a long-term, strategic effort to enable clubs to build their global brands while driving NFL fan growth internationally.

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