Diehard 49ers Fans
Serving fellow Faithful
since 2006!

We are a global not for profit organization bringing Niner fans together and empowering a true sense of camaraderie. Collectively we live a better fan experience.

Our Vision

Continue being the most organized fan base ever and inspire future generations to carry on the Bill Walsh and Eddie DeBartolo era legacy!

Our Mission

Bring Niner Fans together from around the world and serve with their interests at heart.

Our Process

Partner with reputable service providers and sponsors to enhance the fan experience without adding additional costs to the experience.

Our History
- Roots

It was John Madden who said the 49ers where like the Roman Empire during a 1994 Monday Night Football game against the Raiders, when Jerry Rice broke the touchdown record. Fans caught on to it and you would hear calls into KNBR sports talk radio saying we are an Empire. That year we went on to win our 5th Super Bowl.


The “Empire” name did not catch on until over a decade later during some of our darkest days since the dynasty era. It was around 2005 at Candlestick Park when a Diehard fan named “AJ Esperanza” started the 49er Empire. Little did he know, he had ignited the global fan movement we know today.

Respectfully, Esperanza is recognized by 49ers fans as the “Founder of the 49er/Niner Empire” movement. Don’t be surprised by his response, “I’m just a fan”, a statement that holds true at the root of The Niner Empire Organization, as we carry on the Eddie Debartolo family legacy.

Our History
- Growth

It was before the social media explosion, when fans took it upon themselves to unite the 49er fan base. Diehard fan Rajeev Prasad, felt the loneliness of being a 49ers fan living outside the Bay Area, built this fan resource website specifically to connect anything 49ers fan related. The site soon became a hub for fans and groups as Esperanza and his newfound movement leveraged the platform to connect isolated fans, inviting them to join The Niner Empire movement. Fans and service providers were sharing their information to be posted on the site, quickly transforming it into a thriving community which took on a life of it’s own.


Rajeev “Raj” Prasad, is the founder of the Niner Empire Organization as we know it today. A Marine veteran, he went on to become a music producer as well as a 20+ year Grammy voting member of the Recording Academy. It’s very possible you may even have danced to his music over the years. Growing up a passionate 49ers fan, Raj was born in the Fiji Islands, and of Indian/Punjabi decent. His ex-military dad along with both cultures raised him to live by being in service to others. You can feel it in the smiles and joy as he shares his Pacific Islander vibes with his favorite people… fellow 49ers Faithful!

It turned out that being of service was also a strong value held by Esperanza, naturally finding it’s place at the heart of The Niner Empire Organization.

Over the years:

  • 2005 – The 49er/Niner Empire group is started by AJ Esperanza at Candlestick Park during some dismal years for our team and the movement begins to get established as fans from outside the group begin to join in.
  • 2006 – It took living outside the bay area to recognize the loneliness that a 49er fan feels. Diehard fan Rajeev Prasad used his background in entertainment and media to build a website specifically for 49er fans with the intention to make it a 49ers fan resource to connect on and share their love for their team. It was before the social media explosion and at the time the domain name www.ninerempire.com was available for $2,500 obviously way outside of the budget so www.theninerempire.com came alive at the start of that season.
  • 2006 – Since booster clubs were few and far between, AJ Esperanza and his newfound movement found fans and groups online and it became a community effort to invite them to join The Niner Empire movement. Fans would share their info to be posted on the site for other fans to find.
  • 2010 – Diehards Robert Vinton of Fresno, CA. and Kevin Mews of Hawaii came on board as Social Media managers boosting the awareness of the Empire movement even deeper into the fan base.
  • 2012 – Diehard from Arizona, Denise Hines learned of the fan outreach and came on board as TNE ORG’s Marketing Manager.
  • 2013 – January of 2013 at the NFC Championship game in Atlanta when 49er fans from all over congregated at one tailgate by David Kahn and his wife in the Yellow Lot and were tweeted about by Jed York. It was just the beginning of what was to come for away games.
  • 2013 – Diehard from Germany, André “Keiner” Theunert joined TNE ORG founding Niner Empire Germany and became our international liaison for 49er fans from around the world.
  • 2013 – After years of requests, TNE ORG begins research into building a membership program to help the website become self sustaining while continuing to enhance the fan experience.
  • 2014 – With complete transparency as a not for profit group with the team we love, the entire details of the Membership Program plans were shared with the 49ers Organization. They loved the concept and the TNE ORG Membership Program was successfully launched.
  • 2014 – Danny Ramirez of the DFW chapter along with the Spartans David Kahn & Pedro Torales from the Atlanta, GA area hosted the first ever official “Takeover” in Dallas, TX. Away Game events was evolving and 49ers fans were hungry for it.
  • 2014 – The Niner Empire movement gained major recognition when it got coverage by national news media as 49er fans took over Dallas Cowboys stadium turning it into what looked and felt like a 49er home.
  • 2014 – During Levis Stadium’s inaugural year’s end of the season Tailgate Competition, AJ posted “Empire Row” which sparked an idea to bring the Candlestick vibe to Levi’s.
  • 2015 – AJ and Raj of TNE ORG initially brought together Candlestick Tailgaters, Mine 49, The Red Zone Tailgate, and La Klicka to create “EMPIRE ROW” Tailgate with a focus to bring the flavor of Candlestick back in the air and creating a place that is welcoming to all traveling fans to call home. It quickly became the place to visit even for opposing team fans to have a great time.
  • 2015 – Mid-season, the Thursday Night Football Bus parked next to the EMPIRE ROW TAILGATE and broadcast the entire pregame nationally with clips throughout the game of how 49ers fans represent. Always With Class!
  • 2015 – Raj & Denise of TNE Org set up the first Invasion event with blessings from the 49ers front office who joined us with their team handing out Faithful scarves to the Faithful just in time for the Chicago chill. Chicago Invasion 2015
  • 2015 – At the end of it’s founding year, EMPIRE ROW TAILGATE went on to win “Levis Stadium’s Tailgater of the Year Award”.
  • 2016 – Our 10Year Anniversary party was held at HUE night club in San Francisco celebrating the accomplishments of Faithfuls worldwide as ONE FAMILY known today as the Niner Empire!
  • 2017 – The Empire Row Tailgate became recognized as the experience to take in before going into the game. As they continued to get recognized by fans and local news channels, Empire Row became known as the Kings of the Tailgate!

  • 2018 – T
  • 2019 – T