The Los Angeles Lakers want Dwight Howard to re-sign with the purple and gold and don't care who knows it.

The team unveiled a massive banner on the side of Staples Center on Wednesday with a photo of Howard and one message: "Stay."

The sign is one of "six or seven" billboards the Lakers plan on putting up in "various key locations" in order to try to woo the free agent to be, according to team spokesman, John Black. The Lakers also unveiled a billboard above Hollywood Boulevard with the same message. Both signs include the hashtag "STAYD12," hoping the message catches on through social media. Black said the team will also take out a full-page advertisement in the Los Angeles Times.

Black described the campaign as a "company-wide initiative" that was agreed upon by both the basketball operations and business side of the Lakers as part of the team's plan to get the seven-time All-Star to sign a max contract extension to remain in L.A.

While it might seem out of the ordinary for a team with 16 championships to its credit to be so forthcoming about its interest in a single player, Black said the Lakers have treated previous players such as Shaquille O'Neal to grandiose displays of appreciation. They just have not embarked on this type of campaign with a free agent before.

"We knew that there would be a wide range of opinions," Black said. "Our opinion, which we've made clear, is that our top priority is signing Dwight. We want to let him know how important he is to us out in the public. We're comfortable letting the public know how we feel."

When asked about Howard, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told the team website on Tuesday, "He's our future."

The NBA free agency period officially begins on July 1 at midnight ET, marking the start of when competing teams are allowed to contact Howard and his representatives.

A max deal with the Lakers for Howard would be five years, $118 million. The most he could receive from another team -- the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers will be among the other potential suitors -- would be four years, $87.6 million.