Fantasy Sports Posters
In 1988, Johnny Costacos, owner of Seattle-based Costacos Brothers Sports Posters was coming to Atlanta looking for a photographer to shoot three posters of professional athletes. He was given my name and for the following year we had a wonderful time producing some great sports posters, the kind young sports fans plaster all over their bedroom walls. He asked me to go on the road with him to photograph some of the best up-and-coming sports personalities of that time, so I closed my studio in Atlanta and went on quite a year-long adventure with him.
Johnny was brilliant in knowing who was going to become a sports star and this was a time when you didn’t have to do professional sport licensing to shoot posters as you do now. The niche he created was called the Fantasy Sport Poster, which was unique compared to all the other posters that were just action shots taken during a game. We would name the character, design elaborate sets and costumes and set up shoots on locations all over the country. We blew into town, set up in studios, warehouses, parking decks and alleyways. We were featured in the first show on “USA TODAY, the TV SHOW.” We actually lasted longer than that show did. Every town we came into we were greeted by television crews and newspapers wanting to see what we would set on fire or blow up next. I shot 33 posters in just 9 months.
Someone sent me some articles from last year that said that some of our posters sold for over $2500 in galleries in NYC. I also heard that Johnny had an exhibit in which he discussed his life and told the stories about making these great posters. I still run into guys who say, “I can’t believe you did the BASH BROTHERS poster, I had it on my wall until I went to college.” Johnny and his brother Tock Costacos were visionaries and I hope we can do some projects together again in the future. What a fun and very memorable experience and one I will never forget!
Here’s a link to a short documentary about the Costacos Brothers: http://www.sbnation.com/longform/2013/2/5/3951634/costacos-brothers-sports-posters-oral-history