'Holy Dirkness' T-shirts are a hit for entrepreneurs




Posted on June 11, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Updated Sunday, Jun 12 at 9:14 AM

DALLAS — It started out as a show of support for the hometown team. But now, a T-shirt design by a couple of local Dallas Mavericks fans is getting a lot of attention.

The royal blue shirt has the words "Holy Dirkness!" on the front topped by a halo; the back features the angelic cartoon visage of the team's biggest star, Dirk Nowitzki topped with a halo and what appear to be rays of light emanating from the illustration.

Isaac Soto has been hitting the streets from Uptown Dallas to the American Airlines Center selling his creation.

"We are talking church, the mall; we are talking restaurants," he said. "Dirk is more of our angel on the court."

Nowitzki's success, game after game, inspired the "Holy Dirkness" shirt. "We are not trying to compare Dirk to God, but 'holy' does stand for setting yourself apart, and that's exactly what Dirk has been doing and setting himself apart from other players," Soto said.

Soto and his buddy, Jon Collins, came up with the idea, and they also wanted to stand out in this underground market and make some money. The shirt sells for $15.

"Since we came up with this idea two-and-a-half weeks ago, we've sold nearly... over 300," Soto said.

Mavs fans from other states have also started placing their orders, from New Mexico to Arizona.

"We didn't know this was going to be as big of a hit, but all of a sudden we got one bite and that led to another bite," Soto said.

But during the first games of The Finals, they ran into trouble at the American Airlines Center; the shirts were confiscated.

"We were upset. We were down," Soto recalled. "I said, 'It's okay. It's a setback."

But, they got them back, and it wasn't long before the duo was back on track. Now, they are shooting for a Mavs championship.

"High hopes... all Dallas fans have high hopes," Soto said. "We are going to win it tomorrow, and we hope they win tomorrow," Soto said.

It would be a historic win that could possibly lead to business opportunities beyond the finals.

"Our goal is not to only get them here on the Metroplex and everywhere else where Mavs are at," Soto said.

Brian Cuban, the brother of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, told News 8 he will be wearing his "Holy Dirkness!" shirt on Sunday as the Mavs try to take the NBA title in Game 6.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com