Brent Pitarro is a lifelong college athletics fan who often looks for eye-catching new items that can enhance the appearance of his sports-themed, television-centric “man cave.” He eventually discovered that one type of decoration was conspicuously absent from his collection: college sports posters. He’d seen the expensive stadium photographs that are often sold in university bookstores but he wanted more exciting and less-expensive options. That scarcity sparked an idea for Pitarro, who studied sports administration at LSU. He decided to launch a poster business that would help college sports fans decorate their rooms, and help athletes through NIL deals. Pitarro’s new company is called “The Athletic Collection.”
Pitarro plans to offer posters representing university teams from across the country, and athletes from all college sports. He isn’t simply hiring a designer to create his posters. Instead, he’s looking to innovate with a different strategy that’s centered on the phrase “Sports posters made by fans, for fans.” He’s creating relationships with graphic designers across the country. Each school’s poster collection will be created by designers who have an affinity for that school. “No one’s going to know a particular team better than a fan,” he says.
Pitarro is already seeing that using many different designers is yielding the creation of many different styles of images. He’s excited about the diverse approaches to the medium. He also plans to offer options for fans who might prefer more traditional logos and images on their wall art. He’s gaining access to officially registered university images and photographs through licensing deals. He’s also working on a deal to gain access to “a very large 3rd party database of photos.”
The athletes and the universities represented in The Athletic Collection’s posters gain a percentage of the profits. Pitarro also wants to send some of the proceeds to charities in the schools’ local communities. He says he’s open to having charities reach out to him.
The Athletic Collection’s initial 18″ x 24″ posters are now available. They feature images from LSU and the University of Utah. Fans will soon see more posters representing those schools and several other universities including Alabama, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, UCLA, Florida State, Ohio State, Texas, Texas Tech, and others. Pitarro says the company will soon launch a series of autographed posters. Athletes will sign each of their posters with a permanent marker.