Today is a special day in the history of two Bay Area icons and for the surrounding region. This morning, we cut the ribbon on Levi’s® Stadium (check out Levi’s® Stadium website to watch the ceremony live!). So in celebration of this exciting milestone, LS&Co. Historian Tracey Panek takes a look back on Throwback Thursday to Levi’s partnership with a famous member of the team…
In 1950 LS&Co. created a promotion featuring a smiling sports star dressed in a red and black plaid Levi’s® shirt. “Today’s best buy in a wool shirt,” the advertisement touted, “Tailored by the makers of Levi’s® Overalls.” The model? Frankie Albert—San Francisco 49ers’ first quarterback.
Frankie Albert was a familiar face to many in San Francisco and other cities where LS&Co. did business. Albert had attended Stanford University, south of San Francisco. Under Coach Clark Shaughnessy’s tutelage, Albert became an All American in 1940 and 1941, leading the Stanford team to a winning season and a No. 2 ranking nationally. Once World War II broke out, Albert served in the Navy. He returned from the war to join the 49ers in their opening season in 1946.
Albert’s feature in a Levi’s® promotion would have appealed to many post-war American families. In the late 1940s and early ‘50s, LS&Co. was expanding its sales territory beyond the West to all of the American states. Albert represented the best in the country—an All American who had served his nation and then returned to serve his community. As a San Francisco 49er, Albert was one of the stars of the new All-America Football Conference who shared Most Valuable Player honors with Otto Graham, the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback.
Frankie Albert’s LS&Co. link is just another reason to celebrate the new Levi’s® Stadium.
Stay tuned on @LeviStraussCo and Unzipped for coverage from Levi’s® Stadium Ribbon Cutting!