Ahead of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics Iconic Lithuanian Basketball Tie Dyed Skullman Shirts are Back in the News

Paris 2024 Summer Olympics
NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, May 20, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — “The story about the wacky uniforms became a major news event impacting popular culture, taking its place in Olympics folklore and history. The event had a major effect on the future direction of fashion in sports, changing the way it was perceived and viewed. The Tie-Dyed Slammin®Skullman® became a legendary household icon.” recalled Mike Thompson, Licensing Director of Slammin Sports.

The story started when one of the Baltic States’ former Soviet Satellite countries, during the time of the Reagan administration, broke away from the Soviet Union and gained its freedom and independence. Rallying financial support for his country’s newly formed Lithuanian Basketball Team, former Soviet player Sarunas Marciulionis and then NBA player started rallying donations and support for the brand new but financially strapped 1992 Lithuanian Olympic Men’s Basketball team, with hopes of competing for the first time as an independent nation, apart from the Soviet Union in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

While Lithuanian player and NBA star Saunas Marciulionis, who was discovered by an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, at the same time was rallying financial donations for his country’s newly founded Olympic basketball team, received various monetary donations, including one from the Grateful Dead musical group. According to news reports, among the various donations the team received, the Grateful Dead musical group came into the story with a separate $5,000. donation of their own to Marcuiulionis, which was the part they played in this story.

A New York apparel Licensor also heard about the team’s plight and came into this story independently on his own and designed the Skullman tie-dyed uniforms, just so the team could have something fun to wear during the Olympics for practice time heading up to the actual games. Wearing the way-out warm-ups energized and inspired the team to the bronze medal platform and wear something that was never seen before in the Olympics or the world of sports apparel. It was reported the players didn’t take them off and wore them wherever they went.

Listen to the podcast that uncovered the entire and complete facts about the story:

The story was highlighted in the 2012 sports documentary film, “The Other Dream Team”, directed and produced by Marius Markevicius and Jon Weinbach, about the national Lithuanian Olympic basketball team that competed at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona. See: https://m.imdb.com/title/tt1606829/

See also CNBC news story:

The film highlights Lithuanians’ experiences behind the Iron Curtain, where elite athletes were subjected to the brutalities of Communist rule. As they hid from KGB agents and feared for their lives, Lithuania’s basketball stars always shared a common goal – to utilize their athletic gifts to help free their country. Aside from the hardships on the road to the ’92 Olympics, the film celebrates the artist’s iconic tie-dyed uniforms worn by the Lithuanian Olympic team that feature NYC designer Greg Speirs’ trademark apparel, the Slam Dunking Skeleton tie-dye uniforms, now a historic piece of the Summer Olympics’ basketball culture.

See IMDB bio documentation: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3998173/

After winning the bronze medal game against the unified team (the former Soviet combined satellite team), the Lithuanian team wowed the world by showing up to receive their medals on the international stage of the Olympics bronze medal platform, wearing the artist’s unconventional uniforms for the world to see. The uniforms became an international sensation, becoming part of Olympics sports history and one of the most memorable moments of the 1992 Summer Olympics. Then the public wanted to know where they could get one for themselves.

The real source of the iconic uniforms:

The tie-dye uniforms were created by New York sports apparel creator and Licensor Greg Speirs.
The shirts are an independent apparel brand owned by the designer who created them and was never actually a team jersey, nor were they ever part of the Grateful Dead musical group. “All licensing rights always originated from Greg right from the beginning when he created them in 1992. He played a much more significant role in the story than was originally reported in 1992 and throughout the years because he is not just the creator but also the owner of all rights to the independent brand”. recalled Mike Thompson of Slammin’ Sports. ” “Greg then let the team use the sales of the apparel to raise money for funding the team and charity once there became a demand by the public to want to own one of their own. Immediately after the Olympics ended Speirs saw it as a great opportunity to help the team and chose to donate all of what would have been his profits to continue to fund the team. That’s why Greg is called the major sponsor and funder of the 1992 Men’s Lithuanian Olympic Basketball Team after the Olympics. He gave 100% of his profits to fund the team which started at $450,000 in the first wave of donations which continued after the Olympics and may have skyrocketed to millions according to news reports. All funds went directly to Sarunas Marciulionis and into his Sarunas Lithuanian Children’s Fund.

Read the documented news story:

and listen to “The Other Dream Team” interview:

The real meaning of the image from the creator’s own words:

The Lithuanian Slam-Dunking Skullman®represented the artist’s interpretation of a team rising from nothing, “Like a Phoenix from the ashes to slam-dunking a flaming basketball to bronze victory. It’s not a dead skeleton, but the Skullman is alive and represents rebirth and a new life. It was not only a victory in Olympic sports, but it was as if it were an overall triumph over communism itself,” recalled Speirs.

See IMDB bio:

The uniforms were “enshrined” in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. on Dec.7th, 1993, below a giant 12ft. x 8ft. The 3-D incarnation of the legendary Slam Dunking Skeleton. Marciulionis’s jersey was also added to the collection by the Basketball Hall of Fame’s curator Mike Brooslin at the time.
See link: http://www.lithuaniatshirt.com/basketball%20hall%20of%20fame.htm

Vintage editions of the shirts sell for hundreds of dollars online at sites like eBay. The Official, Original 1992 Skullman Lithuania Tie Dye® re-issue T-shirts and merchandise have always been available from the source here at www.Skullman.com. They have been sold since 1992 by Slammin Sports at Skullman.com from where all licensing rights originate.

All of Greg’s continuing profits for the team went into Lithuanian player Sarunas Marciulionous’ ‘Sarunas Lithuanian Children’s Fund which was reported to help sick children in need, and was set up and controlled by the former Lithuania team player and NBA star who received all funds. Some of the funds also went into the building of a basketball school in Lithuania, Marciulionis also had set up another charity called the Sarunas Marciulionis Basketball Foundation according to news reports.

Official Licensor of the Original Lithuania Tie Dye® Brand Apparel & Merchandise. 1992 © Copyright & Trademark® property of Greg Speirs from whom all Licensing Rights Originate. Lithuania Tie Dye® & the Lithuanian Slam Dunking Skeleton® and all related indicia and symbols are Official Trademark Brands and Licenses of Greg Speirs. Official Licensor/ Exclusive, Official & Original Source.

Mike Thompson
Slammin’ Sports
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