Mar 11, 2019


After word got out Saturday that Antonio Brown had been traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Oakland Raiders, a flurry of images featuring Brown photoshopped into a Raiders uniform hit Twitter.

Raider Image Antonio Brown Tweeted Contracted Out With Graphic Artist Before Announcement

Here is a sampling of the images that went out via Tweets about Brown from Twitters users and the media.

Television wasn’t immune from joining in as well, as FS1’s First Things First and ESPN’s Get Up! and SportsCenter also featured photoshopped images of the latest player acquisition by the Raiders.

The most notable of all of the doctored images though has to be the one that Brown himself Tweeted out in announcing he was an Oakland Raider.

That particular image was then picked up by media members, sports celebs and, of course, fans.

The bottom-right of the image that Brown originally Tweeted out of himself in a Raiders uniform included a signature that read, “Pantzke.” 

It turns out “Pantzke” is a graphic artist named Mitchell Pantzke.

Pantzke, who is based in Wisconsin and attended UW-Stout, revealed exclusively to Sports by Brooks today that the image Brown Tweeted out in announcing the trade was no coincidence. 


“Antonio Brown’s camp (photographer Christian Diaz) reached out to me a day before the news broke. Their thought was it would go public that night. So, with that in mind, I had to turn the piece around as soon as I could. …

“… They allowed me to keep my watermark in case tagging didn’t happen. I wanted the mark over tagging, which boded well if other accounts used the piece…Plenty others did.”

Pantzke also took us through the creative process in creating the image while providing background on his relationship with Brown and his representatives:

“The original was pulled from Google images. I looked for a helmet-less base photo to show off Brown’s face and wild hair so it was very recognizable, but emotion-filled. Plus, a chance to photoshop his blonde mustache. The shot shows his confidence, his swagger. …

“… This was not the first encounter (with Brown). AB followed me on Twitter, and liked a ton of my creative while I recruited him to Green Bay. Being a marketer, I wanted to capitalize on a fan favorite and show AB in Packers gear as GB became a potential landing spot, so because of this, he saw my creative prior to the Raiders piece.”

Here are the images Pantzke refers to in which the graphic artist places Brown in a Green Bay Packers uniform.

Like our own interaction with Pantzke, the initial communication between the Baldwin, Wisconsin-based graphic artist and Antonio Brown came via Twitter, where Pantzke can be found at @_Pantzke.