The Untold Story from The Other Dream Team, Lithuanian Basketball Team Documentary Film
Sports Artist Became Major Sponsor by $450,000. Donation to 1992 Lithuanian Olympic Basketball Team, Played it Humble
For Release: July 12, 2012 - New York, N.Y.-The image of a skeleton dunking a flaming basketball rallied the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic Basketball Team to a bronze medal victory in the Barcelona Summer Olympics. The image played a key role in the Lithuanian basketball team's story and became part of Olympic sports history noted in the upcoming 2012 documentary film, The Other Dream Team.
A lesser known part of the Lithuanian "Other Dream Team" story was the individual contribution of $450,000 to the team from the artist who independently created the basketball slam-dunking skeleton image used on the uniforms.
The iconic "Lithuanian Slam Dunking Skullman" was actually created independently by N.Y. licensor and art director Greg Speirs, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3998173/ creator and owner of the image documented in the in the 2012 movie: "The Other Dream Team." http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1606829/fullcredits#
This donation represented 100% of his profits which generated $450,000 for the team from the merchandising of his trademark skeleton design on sales of t-shirts. At that moment Speirs, the former 1970's Grooves Music Magazine Art Director, acquired the status as major funder of the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic Basketball Team.
Apart from the noble efforts of others who initially raised money and partially funded the team for its trip and expenses, the overall big money wasn't generated until Speirs' design was marketed and sold on t-shirts which raised around $450,000 for the team which he readily donated. The merchandise featuring the artist's trademark design generated a huge stream of continuing funds for the team and Lithuanian children's charities from that point.
"It's all about independence, and the freedom to pursue dreams without interference. The Lithuanians became independent after the Soviet breakaway and had the opportunity to flourish and pursue their dreams in freedom. In a similar parallel as an artist with freedom I created an image independently and chose to allow it be used to raise funds for the 1992 team. This image became part of history as a key component of the story and provided the team a spirit of focus to rally around. The 1992 Lithuanian Basketball Team really symbolizes a spirit of freedom to me, and winning the bronze medal was not only a victory in sports but also symbolized a triumph over communism itself. The feeling of pride and energy was channeled through the image. The lesson we and the Lithuanians understand is that we have the freedom to succeed or fail independently as individuals and benefit from the fruits of our labor and prosper in our free enterprise system without an oppressive hand being over us. You work together as a team, but at the same time have the freedom to excel as an individual within that team," said Greg Speirs.
"The way that Greg's connection and huge donation was virtually unreported for decades is worthy of a Paul Harvey style 'Rest of the Story' segment," says Mike Thompson, Skullman.com spokesman. "There were many facets to this story. This fact does not diminish the significance of the contributions and efforts of all of the others or take away from them the part that they played. Each had their part to play to make this inspiring story happen. By not leaving out this key fact about Greg only clarifies what actually happened and adds to the richness of what's being documented because the facts are then accurate and complete. You stay true to the nature of the profession of journalism. It's called a documentary because you are documenting the facts, otherwise you are editorializing and not reporting. Greg's charity wasn't a cliché like "give something back" or "raise awareness", his was a direct donation of real money to the team. When key facts that are thought to be an impediment by a reporter to their storyline are edited out it ceases to be a news report and would no longer be a documentary." added Mike.
For it's 20th anniversary Skullman.com announces a 2012 reissue of the original 1992 jerseys. The new 2012 edition is an exclusive reissue of the 1992 original jersey with the back of the shirt denoting the 2012 reissue year for it's 20th year anniversary. The Original 1992 Jerseys and the new 2012 Edition are both available through www.skullman.com.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos are available to editors and can be downloaded from website.
The Slam Dunking Skeleton and Lithuanian Tie Dye brands are 1992 copyright and registered trademarks of Greg Speirs. Federal trademark statute 15USC1125 plus state trademark statutes protect the mark "Lithuanian Slam Dunking Skeleton" from reporters suggesting a false origin or designation of source, false or misleading description or representation of fact, among others in their news accounts of this story. That is why reporter's references as to the source of the "Lithuanian Slam Dunking Skeleton" image must be attributed to the artist and author, Greg Speirs. News reports referencing the donations given which were generated from sales of Original 1992 Lithuanian jerseys with the image of the Slam Dunking Skeleton must also attribute the source of the donation to the author, Greg Speirs. These apply to all forms of news reporting and news commentary.