The Seattle-born Costacos Brothers have returned to the poster-making game with a limited edition print of Russell Wilson that benefit's Wilson's "Why Not You?'' Foundation.

Share story

For much of their 20 years on the sports-poster-making sidelines, the Costacos Brothers didn’t necessarily miss it all that much.

But during the Seahawks’ 2013 Super Bowl-winning season, John Costacos — one of the two Seattle-area brothers whose posters created indelible images in the minds of sports fans throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s — began to feel the itch again.

Watching the team one Sunday, he scribbled a few ideas for varying players on the team, specifically for quarterback Russell Wilson.

“I always thought it would be fun to come back and do something,’’ said John, now 55. “I just didn’t know what.’’

Most Read Stories

Save over 90% on select subscriptions.

Now he does.

The creative juices that began to flow again in 2013 led to this week’s debut of a new poster of Wilson titled “Armed and Dangeruss’’ that is now available on-line only.

It’s the first creation for the Costacos Brothers since the mid-90s — the duo officially sold their company in 1996.

All proceeds from the $20 poster will benefit Wilson’s “Why Not You?’’ Foundation. It was unveiled at a lavish event Tuesday night at the Charles Smith Winery in Seattle in which some of the subjects of Costacos Brothers posters of the past — Steve Largent and Brian Bosworth — were also on hand.

The event raised at least $300,000 for Wilson’s foundation — which included a donation of $100,000 by Wilson himself — with auction items including a chance to attend a Seahawks game in Wilson’s suite and attend dinner with him after a game.

Wilson also introduced his new wife, Ciara, at the event, noting it was their first public appearance in Seattle since their marriage earlier this month.

As for the poster, Wilson said it took little convincing, saying he’d had one of the Costacos Brothers’ Bo Jackson posters on his wall as a kid.

“It’s definitely a thrill,’’ Wilson said of the poster, which was the result of some photo shoots in May and whose title is a takeoff on Wilson’s DangeRussWilson Twitter handle while also featuring lots of background items that touch on other favorite Wilson sayings.

Wilson said being featured in a new Costacos Brothers poster “gives me chills because I know how much it means to them to come back.’’

Wilson said his foundation has some initial broad goals of trying to impact as many people as possible.

The foundation’s mission statement reads that it wants to “empower change in the world, one individual and one child at a time. Why not you? Why not us?’’

John Costacos said the endeavor could lead to something of a revival of the company he and his brother, Tock, began in 1986 with their first poster of Seahawks safety Kenny Easley. The Wilson poster evolved from conversations that began in 2013 with Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers. Now that they are back in the game, more collaborations could follow.

The posters were considered ground-breaking in the ’80s and ’90s, creating themes based around the player’s personality during an era when most posters consisted simply of a picture and a name.

The company produced over 800 posters that sold more than 30 million copies over the next decade. John Costacos said licensing issues with pro sports leagues helped lead to the brothers selling the company.

He said they’ve spent the time since then “having fun, doing a lot of volunteer work.’’

For a while, sports weren’t much of a priority.

But he said the 2013 Super Bowl season helped revive some of the feelings he had as a kid growing up in Seattle and idolizing Fred Brown and Largent.

The business has changed markedly since then — for one, he no longer has to wait until pictures are developed the next day to see how a photo shoot turns out. During the day with Wilson, Costacos marveled that Wilson was able to view the photos as they happened and instantaneously add his own input.

“I feel like this is something that I have to give it a try,’’ John Costacos said.