A Baltimore Ravens logo painted on the sidewalk in front of York’s City Hall is a part of a team marketing strategy.
A Baltimore Ravens logo painted on the sidewalk in front of York's City Hall is a part of a team marketing strategy. (Bil Bowden photo)

For years, York County has been a battleground of sorts for fans of teams based in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

But under NFL marketing guidelines, York County is solely Baltimore Ravens territory.

That partially explains why Ravens logos mysteriously cropped up over parts of York City late Tuesday night.

Eight teams of front office staff members with the Ravens flew from their nest in Baltimore and painted cities in Maryland and Pennsylvania purple to drum up support for the team as it takes on the Denver Broncos in a playoff game on Saturday.

York City was the northernmost city to receive a touch of purple, said Heather Harness, the Ravens' marketing & advertising manager.

"This is the fourth season we've done this," she said. "We've got up to 500 locations we do annually."

Chalk it up: This is the first year that the Ravens ventured north of the Mason Dixon Line to mark York with the team's logo.

The marking features the Ravens' logo with the word "team" just below it.

While the logo looks like spray paint, it was actually

done using spray chalk, Harness said.

Typically the chalk can withstand a few rain showers, she said.

The logos can be found at Cherry Lane Park, Continental Square and in front of York City Hall, the police station and a fire station.

"Our goal is to reach high-traffic areas. Whether it's urban areas with bars and restaurants or shopping centers," Harness said.

If the Ravens beat the Broncos, additional logos could crop up in the area, she said.

Win: For fan Phil Franco, president of Ravens Nest No. 7, it's not a question of if the Ravens win.

"I'll go out on a limb. I think it's going to be a blowout in the Ravens' favor. 35-7," he said.

Ravens Nest No. 7 is a fan club that covers southern York County and is based at Spataro's Italian Restaurant in Shrewsbury Township.

Franco said the Ravens defense will pressure Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning into making a few mistakes.

Lewis: The defense, Franco said, should be inspired to play hard because this could be the last game linebacker Ray Lewis plays with the Ravens.

Lewis announced that he will retire at the end of the season.

"I do think Ray Lewis' retirement was a big thing that will spur the defense on," Franco said.

Naturally, fellow Ravens fan and president of Ravens Roost 32 Steve Weaver said Baltimore should pull off a win Saturday.

The Hanover-based fan club meets and watches games at Bair's Den in the Hanover Bowling Centre.

"Not many people are giving us a chance this weekend, but I like being the underdog," Weaver said. "I don't think we've played our best game since the first game of the year, so we are due. I think we might surprise some people."

-- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.