© St. Petersburg Times, published January 23, 2003
The "Go Bucs" billboards that have been popping up around San Diego the past couple of days are not the work of some mystery fan with bundles of cash to burn.
The team bought the dozen billboards, including one on the way into Qualcomm Stadium. "They're there to make the fans, and the team, relax and feel like they're at home," said Bob Leffler, whose advertising agency has been working with the Bucs since 1995. Leffler said Bucs vice presidents Joel and Bryan Glazer came up with the idea for the billboards, though he ran a similar campaign for the Baltimore Ravens in Tampa two years ago. A week ago, Leffler quietly made arrangements in San Diego with billboard giant Clear Channel Outdoor to take all available boards in the area should the Bucs make the Super Bowl. He did not say how much the promotion cost. "Let's just say it's well shy of six figures," Leffler said. "There are a lot of relationships and begging that go into this. That makes it fun."
Can't wait to buy an official Bucs Super Bowl champion T-shirt? Well, NFL.com is ready for you. The league's online apparel shop is preselling Bucs and Raiders championship shirts for $19.99. Hats are going for $25.99. If your team loses, the order is canceled. But if your team wins, the order is shipped in three to five days after the game, said Perry Cooper, NFL director of database marketing. So far the league's online shop has orders for 2,500 Bucs T-shirts and 4,000 hats. And how are Raiders orders going? "Actually," Cooper said, "they're neck and neck."
There's no shortage of Raiders paraphernalia on auction site eBay.com -- more than 9,000 items show up for Raiders in the sports category alone. (Yes, Texas Tech fans, you can claim a few of those.) Among the items is "the most wanted collectors item that any diehard Oakland Raiders fan would ever want." Why fly to the Super Bowl and buy a pair of primo tickets when, for the same money, you can get a rare yet undrivable car? A Pasadena man is auctioning off the big-Silver-helmet vehicle used by the Raiders when they were in Los Angeles. He's asking $10,000, which helps explain why he had no bids as of Wednesday night. There are a few catches. The car, as we are told IN CAPITAL LETTERS, is not for promotional use, and "repairs are needed to bring it to operating condition" and is sold as is.
Click onwww.sptimes.com for:
Daily updates from San Diego -- from players' interviews to fans on the street.
Full-color animated photo galleries -- and browse an archive of photo galleries.
Video and interviews from San Diego.
Candid musings from our Web reporter as he files a running Internet report.
What other newspapers are saying about the Bucs.
173: Regular-season receptions for Oakland's top two wide receivers, Jerry Rice (92) and Tim Brown (81).
137: Regular-season receptions for Tampa Bay's top two wide receivers, Keyshawn Johnson (76) and Keenan McCardell (61).
91: Regular-season receptions by Raiders running back Charlie Garner.
59: Regular-season receptions by Bucs running back Michael Pittman.