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The TB12 effect: Tom Brady's influence on Tampa Bay business, tourism

"It's like we built a building and he came in and turned on the lights," President & CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, Santiago Corrada, said.

TAMPA, Fla. — In his three seasons with the Buccaneers, Tom Brady brought a lot more to the Tampa Bay area than just touchdown passes. 

Local stakeholders say his impact on business and tourism in the area is immeasurable.

Stephen Sherman, the owner of Heads & Tails, a sports merchandise store in Tampa, said Brady's arrival in Tampa triggered a spike in business.

"When you're the greatest football player of all time, there's always going to be a draw," Sherman said. "It just blew up, I mean, people came out of the woodwork and just wanted to participate in sports at the time."

Brady also brought about some of the busiest days of business for Tampa sports bars like American Social. 

"Tom Brady has made business boom here," the beverage manager of American Social, Jordan Perhosky said. "That Superbowl that was here was electric. Anyone who wasn't at the game was here."

According to Visit Tampa Bay, a non-profit that supports local tourism, Tampa Bay was a region on the rise, and Tom Brady pushed it over the edge. 

"Mr. Brady comes to town and he's just that cherry on top," Visit Tampa Bay President & CEO Santiago Corrada said. "He brought us to another level. It's like building a building and someone comes in and turns on the lights." 

In a statement, President and CEO of the Tampa Bay Chamber Bob Rohrlack said Brady greatly influenced the region.

"The Tampa Bay Bucs have been an incredible economic impact to the entire Tampa Bay region since their first game was played in the 1970s, Rohrlack stated. "Having Tom Brady believe in the Tampa Bay Bucs so much that he would come here to play and win a Super Bowl says a lot about our region and what we have to offer! We wish him well and look forward to a long future with the Bucs, as they continue to show off Tampa Bay to the rest of the world."

Now, the hope is the enthusiasm for the Buccaneers and the region remains. 

"He's now part of our legacy and we'll continue to build on that legacy," Corrada said. 

It's a legacy some fans will continue to wear on their backs, even as Brady steps away from the field. 

Heads & Tails sold half a dozen #12 jerseys just hours after Brady announced his retirement. 

"It's a piece of history, it's a piece of memorabilia, and it's something people will want to hand down to their kids," Sherman said. 

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