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Ravens reveal new alternate 'Purple Rising' helmet

For the first time in their nearly 30-year history, the Baltimore Ravens will wear a purple helmet.

Baltimore revealed its alternate "Purple Rising" helmet on Tuesday, becoming the latest NFL team to add a second option to their uniform closet thanks to the league's relaxation of headgear-related uniform rules.

To call the helmet aesthetically pleasing is an understatement. Baltimore's selection of a metallic satin finish on the purple shell makes the helmet pop, and the inclusion of the team's talon striping -- a staple of their uniforms since their inception -- in gold, not purple, maintains the team's aesthetic tradition. With no better time than now to introduce a gold facemask, the Ravens jumped at the opportunity, creating a regal helmet and embracing the third team color in prominent fashion.

The new helmet deserved a new logo on each side, for which Baltimore selected its secondary mark, the forward-facing Raven logo. The logic was simple: If you're going to introduce an alternate helmet, why not use it to bring a less prominent logo to the forefront?

"The logo will probably be a popular topic of the helmet," Ravens senior VP of marketing Brad Downs said during an appearance on the team's "The Lounge Podcast." "While we don't use this logo a lot, the eyes are very iconic to the gameday experience. Our players run out for intros under the eyes. We felt like it was time to give this logo a little shine, if you will.

"Our fans love the shield. I know that will be one of the popular comments, 'Why not the shield?' But with the existing uniform, we've got the shield right on the sleeve. The shield's already prominently there. This one made a lot of sense to bring to the forefront on the helmet."

The new helmet not only provides the Ravens with another option, but also brings new life to their Color Rush uniform, which debuted in 2016 but didn't take much risk, simply swapping out white numbers for gold numerals and adding purple pants with a matching white-gold-white triple stripe down each side. With this new helmet included, this uniform finally feels complete.

Appropriately, the Ravens will wear their new helmet with the existing Color Rush uniforms for one game in 2024, Downs said.

"We pay attention to all of that feedback from the fans, to really try to land on something they're going to love," Downs said. "I've been waiting for this day for a long time. We know our fans have clamored for it. They just like new stuff. But our uniforms have a nice traditional feel and we've had a lot success in them. We don't want to be that team that changes all the time. We like the tradition that we've built.

"We've thought about this for years. I think I had at least 14 options of helmets, and that doesn't even include swapping decals, locals, stripes. We narrowed it down to two, and this is the direction that we went."

From the time the Browns moved from Cleveland to Baltimore and established a new existence as the Ravens in 1996, the franchise has worn nothing but black helmets. They've changed slightly in appearance, with a logo swap to their current bird's head mark occurring in 1999, but have otherwise remained the same. The same can largely be said for their uniforms, which have seen some elements (sleeve and pants logos, plus periodic introduction of a few more options) adjusted over time, but have maintained their most dominant feature: their unique drop-shadowed numbers, which debuted in 1997.

With Tuesday's reveal, the Ravens have taken their most ambitious aesthetic step since introducing gold pants in 2015, which were only worn once before they were sent to the back of the closet. This helmet will only see the field once in 2024, but judging by the players' reaction to it -- "It's bad-ass, man," tight end Mark Andrews said -- it is safe to say they'll make another appearance in the future.

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