Today, the Costacos Collection announced its second NFT drop in partnership with four legendary NFL quarterbacks: Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, Jim McMahon, and Dan Marino. Following the company’s inaugural drop with baseball GOAT Willie Mays, the QB Legends Collection re-imagines the four quarterbacks’ iconic ‘80s/‘90s Costacos posters in new digital form. In addition, the quarterbacks have worked closely with John Costacos and acclaimed digital artist Mike Campau to create all-new 3D art pieces capturing the defining moments and themes from the players’ legendary careers. A portion of proceeds from the drop will be donated to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinees Assistance Foundation, an organization that assists HOF members and their families.
Collectors can access the drop on the newly-launched CostacosCollection.com marketplace. The Costacos Collection has entered into a strategic technology partnership with GigLabs to build on the Flow blockchain, joining NBA Top Shot, NFL ALL DAY, and UFC Strike, created by Dapper Labs. The partnership has enabled the Costacos Collection to build a proprietary NFT marketplace on the environmentally-friendly Flow blockchain, joining other GigLabs partners that include CNN, Turner Sports, Athletes Unlimited, Speedway Motorsports, the University of Miami, and others. The Costacos Collection marketplace includes full credit card support and simple wallet signup requiring only an email address.
“We couldn’t have hoped for a more exciting group of legacy athletes with whom to partner for the launch of the Costacos Collection marketplace,” said CEO Justin Moorad. “Troy, Warren, Jim, and Dan, all with their own unique personalities and career paths, represent a generation of NFL culture that was captured in their original Costacos posters. It’s an honor to help bring those iconic images back to life, and a privilege to watch John and the players work together to create all-new digital art that we believe their legions of fans will be passionate about collecting.”
“We loved working with all the athletes, the pitchers, home-run hitters, point guards, linebackers, all of them,” said Costacos. “But there was nothing quite like creating an image with an NFL quarterback because the great ones are the guys with all the firepower that make the offense go. Jim McMahon was the first poster we printed back in 1986. There we were in Chicago, 2,000 miles from home, a couple of kids with an idea but no experience, who somehow convinced the NFL’s biggest superstar to dress up like Mad Max and take pictures next to a live bear cub in the middle of a thunderstorm. Jim was larger than life, he’d just led the Chicago Bears to their one and only Super Bowl victory and was at the forefront of sports pop culture. We may not have known how we were going to pull it off but somehow we did and had a ton of fun shooting it, and Jim did too. We got lucky with a break in the weather, the shots ended up working, and we ended up with one of the great posters of all time – and a lifelong friend in Jimmy Mac.”
“Being part of the Costacos Collection was what every athlete from our era dreamed about, it was like being on a Wheaties box but better, because you hung on the wall of every bedroom of fans across the country,” McMahon said. “It’s pretty cool that Mad Mac was the first one and the start of it all. I still have it on my wall. And it’s just as cool to be a part of this new era, I’m having tons of fun working creatively with John again. He’s the most creative guy I know, and when we’re done we always make sure to sit down for a beer or six.”
In addition to the digital re-imagining of the vintage Costacos posters, the company is launching the “HANDS OF THE GODS” series, which captures each quarterback’s unique grip on a football. To create the pieces, John visited each quarterback and painted their hand in ink before they gripped the football the way they have so many times before. John has also worked with the players to create a digital series that represents some of their proudest accomplishments. For Moon, a celebration of his unprecedented five consecutive CFL Grey Cup Championships before going on to a prolific NFL career that would see him become the first Black quarterback inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame; for Aikman, a celebration of the three Super Bowl Championships he helped bring home to the city of Dallas; for Marino, an ode to his everlasting significance to the city of Miami; and for McMahon, a representation of his iconic visuals that defined the ‘85 Bears and beyond. The players have also worked closely with Mike Campau to create career-defining plaques, drawing inspiration from the style included in the Costacos Collection’s first drop with Willie Mays. Adding a unique physical component to the drop, the company will auction off never-before-seen outtakes from the original poster shoots – in addition to the digital collectible, the auction winner will also receive the original film transparency. Finally, the Collection will sell NFTs of an official Tour Poster celebrating the QB Legends drop, created by the Ames Bros known for their intricately designed concert posters for rock legends like Pearl Jam and Metallica.
“It’s a rare treat to be brought back to such an amazing time from the past,” Aikman said. “Working with John to create my original poster was a fun and unique experience, and ended up with one of my all-time favorite images. It’s great to have John’s creativity back at it, and to spend time with him bringing new work to life in innovative ways.”
“As an entrepreneur and fan of pop culture, I’ve always loved John’s vision and innovative enthusiasm,” added Moon. “The Moonlighting poster is a favorite – I’m thrilled to see it come to life as digital art, and just as excited about the brand new digital art forms we’ve created. With today’s tools, John’s creativity is almost limitless, and I’m really proud to be involved in this unique launch.”
“We’ve all seen the explosion of digital art and collectibles,” Marino said. “Sometimes it’s hard to see what all the buzz is about. However, this is different…it is sports and pop culture at its best, a blend of ‘80’s and ‘90’s creativity with the digital mastery of today, all pulled together by one of the guys who got this all started, John Costacos. I can’t wait to see the reaction, especially as a new generation sees the Zubaz pants.”
The QB Legends Collection follows the Costacos Collection’s inaugural drop with Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays, who donated all proceeds to the Say Hey Foundation’s effort to honor the people who gave him a start in life, by establishing a baseball academy for underprivileged youth where he grew up in Alabama, and to restore the historic baseball facilities at Rickwood Field where Willie started his career with the Negro League Birmingham Black Barons. The drop told the story of Willie’s path to the majors, from Fairfield Industrial High in Birmingham, to the Negro American League, culminating with his move to the New York Giants with whom he would win the Rookie of the Year Award in 1951. The various edition pieces captured the key themes and statistics of those periods, and the 1/1 hero piece added to the story with a number of never-before-seen personal documents and images from Willie’s journey – most notably, a copy of Willie’s high school diploma, in which he was assigned a career in “cleaning, dyeing, and pressing. The piece included a voiceover in which Willie’s powerful story is told by an iconic voice of sports, Bob Costas, who joined Mays in donating to the baseball academy and Rickwood Field restoration project.