Home Digital art Iconic Sports Pop Culture Artist John Costacos Unveils New Blockchain-Based Digital Collectibles Company Called Costacos Collection

Iconic Sports Pop Culture Artist John Costacos Unveils New Blockchain-Based Digital Collectibles Company Called Costacos Collection


The career history of John Costacos is really quite amazing. It’s certainly filled with great stories about working with top athletes from the 1980s and 90s, when its sport-culture posters were utterly laudatory.

The iconic and award-winning sports pop culture artist has unveiled a new blockchain-based digital collectibles company called Costacos Collection.

John Costacos laughs with SportsJam host Doug Doyle

John Costacos joined Sports Jam with Doug Doyle to talk about how he reinvented his famous poster series and created new digital art in collaboration with legendary athletes and their foundations. The impressive list of athletes includes Dan Marino, Warren Moon, Troy Aikman, Jim McMahon, Kenny Easley, Lester Hayes, as well as baseball stars Roger Clemens, Pudge Rodriguez and Will Clark.

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One of John Costacos new digital pieces that reimagines his famous posters of Dolphins great Dan Marino

John admits that digital art has opened up so many new possibilities.

“It’s a whole new world. We’re moving into a time where in addition to material assets or hard art, or actual art, a painting or a print, something tangible like that will always exist, but digital stuff has a lot of amazing elements. One of them is that there is no storage problem. You know, if you want to put art on your wall, you only have to ‘a limited amount of real estate in your house, in your bedroom or whatever it is for the things you love. If you want to put a print up there and frame it, well you gotta get the print, you have to frame it and you can only have so many, with digital material you can buy as many of them as you want and have them scroll through your big screen or computer screen. That’s a really cool thing about it. From my perspective, there’s no distribution problem. It’s just coming out digitally, in instantly and it’s great. It’s kind of fun. The best part about it for me, because I don’t really care about other things, I don’t want to do anything other than create. I can create things that were impossible. I could visualize things back then. We didn’t have the technology to do it or we didn’t have a huge budget to be able to do it. Now pretty much anything I can conceive in my head, we can create.”

John and his brother Tok, the “Costacos Brothers”, sold over 30 million sports posters from 1986 to 1996. These posters included images, slogans and nicknames that stuck with the players for the rest of their careers . John’s first poster captured Seattle Seahawks great Kenny Easley as “The Enforcer.” Easley’s poster would spark a decade-long series of artwork and huge demand from fans and sports figures themselves.

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The Costacos Collection is the new blockchain-based digital collectibles company from iconic sports and pop culture artist John Costacos

Now John is not just reinventing his revered poster art in the Costacos Collection, but creating new digital art as NFT. Costacos explains why NFTs are so interesting and valuable.

“NFT, that’s a very bad title, non-fungible token. Couldn’t they come up with something better for it? Maybe we will. It’s a piece of code embedded in the work of digital art that authenticates her.And then the blockchain, The blockchain is like CarFax for her.
So over time, if you buy something, there is a trace of it. If you sell it to me, I can see when you bought it and how much you bought it. Two hundred years from now someone will own this piece of digital art somewhere and they can look back on all the people who bought it and how much it cost each time. It’s like when you buy a print and you have 1 in 250 or 1 in 25 and it has the artist’s signature and you have a certificate with or some authenticity, so if you ever want the sell, that’s where that value is. It’s all digital. This is a digital version of it.”


Dallas HOF quarterback and current broadcaster Troy Aikman is part of the Costacos collection

Costacos hopes this Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Cincinnati Bengals and LA Rams will produce some magical moments that he can use as inspiration for new digital plays. You will soon be able to see the Costacos Collection here but you can follow the collectibles company on twitter here.

Costacos, a Seattle native, was attending the University of Washington in 1984 when he heard a popular song on the radio. It was “Purple Rain” by the late iconic singer-songwriter-musician Prince. This song and the Huskies football team’s victory over Michigan prompted Costacos to call a designer friend in Los Angeles to create t-shirts with the slogan “Purple Reign”.

“It was this cartoon football player falling from the sky in a cloud with rain, and he’s about to crush this little player under him. And it took off. I sold 23,000 shirts before I knew what I was doing. I realized that if you hit a hot market, you have a chance to do well.”

The next step for the Costacos Brothers would be to create a “Real Men Wear Black” t-shirt for Oakland Raiders fans. Soon after, they moved on to poster art and…..the rest is art history.

During this episode of SportsJamCostacos tells fun stories about some of his favorite athletes to work with, including Jim McMahon and Charles Barkley.

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John Costacos (middle) with two of his favorite quarterbacks Warren Moon and Jim McMahon

You can see the full interview with John Costacos here.