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Purple passion

Ravens' colors will be splashed all over Tampa this week

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Posted: Tuesday January 23, 2001 1:11 AM

  Raymond James Stadium The space underneath the sign for Raymond James Stadium will be one of few spots in Tampa not completely covered in Ravens purple. AP

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Tampa residents will be seeing purple -- lots of purple -- thanks to a massive advertising campaign by the Baltimore Ravens' advertising firm.

Baltimore-based Leffler Agency Inc., whose other clients include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Cincinnati Bengals, is plastering the Ravens' logo and colors all over the city, which is hosting Super Bowl XXXV.

The Ravens, who face the New York Giants in Sunday's game, rented 12 billboards around Raymond James Stadium, site of the game, and near the two teams' practice facilities, company founder Robert Leffler said.

By grabbing all the billboard space in the area, Leffler made it virtually impossible for the Giants to launch a similar campaign.

His agency also owns a building near the stadium and plans to color it purple this week in honor of the team.

Leffler and the Ravens organization said they wanted to do something special to make the players and fans feel more at home during Super Bowl week.

Leffler said he "literally put this thing together when the gun sounded" after the Ravens victory in the AFC Championship Game.

"I think it is good for the fans. Nobody has ever done it. It was all common sense and hustle," he said. "The goal of the campaign is make the city a little purple."

Leffler, who called the Ravens' marketing department "progressive," said he does not recall a Super Bowl team being so aggressive with an advertising campaign, adding that it might change the way teams market appearances in future events.

Since there are only two weeks between the conference championships and the Super Bowl, time was of the essence.

"The challenge was to get it down there in a hurry," Leffler said. "We did a little groundwork, but not much. It is a trick of the trade of being a sports agency."

Despite the effort that went into it, Leffler said the cost for the campaign is "way south of six figures" and modest by current standards.

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