NEW YORK — After two years of petitioning, Coach Mike Nolan of the San Francisco 49ers will get to wear a suit during the 2007/2008 season’s eight home games—and he’ll be wearing Joseph Abboud.
After signing on to lead the team in 2005, Nolan asked the NFL if he could wear a suit during the games. That request was initially denied due to the league’s contract with Reebok, which stipulates that coaches wear the company’s team gear on the sidelines. But Reebok amended its policy last year, allowing Nolan to wear a company-issued suit to two games.
But Nolan persisted and in June the NFL announced a deal that allows the coach to wear a suit to all of the 49ers home games this season. But this time Reebok partnered with industry vets JA Apparel to dress him.
The collection of custom Joseph Abboud suits, sport coats, trousers, shirts and ties, called the Coaches Collection, combines the label’s half-canvased construction and Italian fabrics with Reebok stretch technology and wicking.
The company is also dressing Jack Del Rio of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Team colors will be reflected in both of the wardrobes’ ties and jacket linings.
“Football conjures images of great American heritage, which melds naturally with our continued heritage of manufacturing all of our Joseph Abboud suits and ties in America,” said Marty Staff, president and CEO of JA Apparel.
The ruling this past June came among growing protest from 49er fans who had been suggesting on blogs and message boards that men attending the team’s opening game against Arizona on Sept. 10 wear a coat and tie.
“Reebok’s main goal is to provide compelling product for coaches, players and fans,” said David Baxter, president of the Sports Licensed Division for Reebok International, in a statement. “In recent years, these two coaches have expressed interest in wearing more formal attire on the sidelines for special games.”
Nolan has said his desire to wear a suit stems from his respect for the sport and for his father, Dick Nolan, a former NFL coach who always wore suits on game day.
“It’s a throwback to a lot of coaches he respects as well,” said a 49ers spokesman, citing such legendary and sartorially savvy coaches as Tom Landry, the first coach of the Dallas Cowboys, who led the young team to two NFL titles in the 1970s.