Sourdough Sam is a mascot for the NFL's San Francisco 49ers. According to his official biography, he has five nicknames: Sam, Sammy, Samster, Sammiester, Samarama.
Sourdough Sam's birthday is April 9, likely coinciding with the month-date format of the day, 4/9. In 2015, a video of Sourdough Sam making his own birthday cake was released on this date. He currently has a Facebook page with over 80,000 likes and a Twitter page with username @SourdoughSam49, both of which release posts referring to him in the first person. These social media outlets are often used for promotional advertising content portrayed as being endorsed by Sam himself, such as the Fathful 49 Loyalty Program and the 49er's Kids Club.
An original collage art piece of Sourdough Sam hangs in Levi Stadium and is located in the player's family room.
Before the introduction of Sourdough Sam, the first mascot for the 49ers was a mule wearing a red blanket named Clementine, appearing in the 1950's and 60's. A gold rush propector themed character first appeared in the 1970's, designed to reflect the cover art for programs created between 1946-1949 by William Kay when the 49ers were a part of the All-America Football Conference, which depicted a bushy-mustached prospector with two pistols. The first mascot with the miner theme, a theme retained for all future mascots, was depicted as a large man with an oversized football helmet and plaid shirt directly referencing the shirt worn in the original William Kay images. Several elements, such as a bushy beard and suspenders, remained part of the image in later iterations. This version of Sourdough Sam appeared on a cookbook titled, "49er Fixens".
His next design switched his helmet for a wide-brimmed ten-gallon hat with a chunk taken out of its brim, as well as a longer brown beard and brown eyes. Just prior to the 2006 NFL season, Sam's appearance was altered somewhat, appearing as as a clean-shaven gold panner with blue eyes and a hat without any imperfections. A bearded Sourdough Sam returned for the 2011 season, retaining the blue eye color.
Sourdough Sam typically wears a cardinal football jersey, despite the 49er's current selection of team color being 49ers Red, and is jersey number 49. He wears a white long-sleeved shirt underneath the jersey and sports light brown gloves as well as a gold handkerchief around his neck. He also wears a large, dark brown cowboy hat emblazoned with the logo for the 49ers and dark brown boots. His jeans are held up by suspenders, and in 2014 he was outfitted with a new pair of Levi's jeans after 60 years of wearing a non-branded pair, with promotional images of him entering Levi's Taylor Shop and watching his custom pair be produced. He sometimes carries a large pickax.
However, Sourdough Sam has made appearances with other outfits for special occasions. He has appeared with black boots and a black third jersey that was introduced in 2015, a camouflage shirt and jacket with camouflage headband for military related appearances, a red and white Santa Suit-esqe top for holiday promotion, and a pink shirt with purple handkerchief for breast cancer awareness efforts. When meeting Snoop Dogg, Sourdough Sam wore shudder shades and a massive gold chain around his neck with the words "SOUR DIZZLE".
He has appeared on FOX, Monday Night Football, ESPN's SportsCenter, Extra, MTV, Evening Magazine, and Nickelodeon.