Levi's $220 million naming rights deal for the new San Francisco 49ers stadium will include a few goodies for coach Jim Harbaugh -- but don't expect him to stray from his usual black shirt and khakis outfit on the sidelines this Sunday.
The Internet has been abuzz since Harbaugh's wife, Sarah, called into a local radio show on Tuesday morning to complain about the pleated khakis the coach wears, saying he even picked some up at a Walmart for $8 a pop after she threw away his old pairs.
Well, San Francisco-based Levi Strauss, which in May scored the naming rights to the new $1.3 billion Santa Clara stadium and makes the Dockers brand casual trousers, sent a care package to the coach Friday with some gear that would cost a bit more than eight bucks.
It includes Dockers khakis -- without the dowdy pleats -- a red 49ers shirt and a note reading: "Coach Harbaugh, win in style." Also sent was a white collared shirt checkered with orange, blue and green stripes -- perhaps a tad too close to Seahawks colors for some 49ers fans.
But the 49ers said they are concerned about NFL rules that prevent Harbaugh or any player from wearing anything other than Nike, New Era or any other NFL-sponsored gear during game time.
With tens of millions of viewers tuning in each Sunday, companies that pay big bucks for NFL partnerships don't want their competitors scoring free advertising. It's why viewers see tape over the emblem on the Beats by Dre headphones that quarterback Colin Kaepernick often sports during interviews.
So Harbaugh likely won't be donning Dockers as he romps down the sideline in Sunday afternoon's NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks, the team said.
Still, he has before. The national media on Friday picked up a picture tweeted by a local fan who spotted a pair of game-worn Harbaugh pants, size 38 x 34, on sale at the 49ers team store at the Westfield San Francisco mall for $500. The brand? Dockers.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the pants were not a problem because Harbaugh wears other approved clothes -- such as a Nike shirt and New Era hat -- and the policy has to do only with logos visible on gameday. The Dockers logo on the game-worn slacks is so small it would have required a super-HD close-up to make it on TV.
It's unlikely the pants would go unnoticed this Sunday, however, given the attention the coach's outfit has gotten this week.
So did the fan who tweeted the picture, making her a Web celebrity for the day, have any interest in picking up Harbaugh's old pants at the team store?
"Hell no -- no thanks," said Lindsey, a San Francisco resident and 49ers fan who didn't want to give her last name. Buying a pair of pants worn by the coach would be "pretty sad. Maybe I'd buy my boyfriend a pair of the $8 pants as a joke."
Contact Mike Rosenberg at 408-920-5705. Follow him at twitter.com/RosenbergMerc.