NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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 story and is part of a documentary film about the Lithuanian basketball Team called "The Other Dream Team."
A lesser known part of "The Other Dream Team's" saga was the individual contribution of $450,000 to the team from the artist who independently created that basketball dunking skeleton image.
The iconic "Slam Dunking Skeleton" 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, former 1970's Grooves 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 Speirs readily donated. The merchandise featuring the artist's trademark design generated huge ongoing funds for the team and Lithuanian children's charities.
"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 ongoing funds for the team and also 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 flourish 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. "This fact does not diminish the significance of the contributions and efforts of others. Each had their part to play to make this inspiring story happen. It only clarifies what actually happened and adds to the richness of the story because the facts are complete. It's called a documentary because you are documenting the facts, otherwise you are editorializing and not reporting. When key facts are edited out it would no longer be a documentary either," added Mike.
Skullman.com is home of the Original 1992 Lithuanian Tie Dye basketball jerseys. The Original Lithuanian Tie Dye Slam Dunking Skeleton brand is available for licensing from Skullman.com http://www.skullman.com
NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos, sample jerseys and interviews are available.
The Slam Dunking Skeleton and Lithuanian Tie Dye brand are 1992 copyright and registered trademarks of Greg Speirs.
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