Business

College Cuber Makes $8,000 Sports Star Mosaic from Cubes

Dylan Sadiq, known as “College Cuber”, charges $8,000 for his cube puzzles. Professional teams, including the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, have purchased the artwork.

Credit: Dylan Sadik | Coober College

It all started with a portrait of his favorite basketball player, Luka Doncic. Then came his NBA colleague Damian Lillard. International football clubs such as Manchester United and Barcelona have taken notice. The Major League Baseball team and the National Football League reached out to us.

Before he knew it, Dylan Sadik was inundated with requests for his jigsaw puzzles (like Rubik’s cubes, but copycats). Sadiq, 21, is a student at Rutgers University, where he is now known as Coober College.

Sadiq charges $8,000 and can make a cubic portrait in less than four hours. With social media support and Twitter retweets, teams such as the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils, Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls were looking for Sadik’s job.

“This is not what I expected,” Sadiq told CNBC this week. As he spoke, a new mosaic he had created of Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes went viral.

Covid ruined everything

Dylan Sadiq, known as “College Cuber”, charges $8,000 for his cube puzzles.

Credit: Dylan Sadik | Coober College

Sadiq loves to tell the story of how his brother Brandon challenged him when he was 10 years old to complete the cube. His award was the Call of Duty video game from Activision Blizzard. Sadiq said it took him a week to complete the task.

In February 2021, Sadiq practiced building blocks to get faster. He then turned his newfound skill into a path of creativity.

Sadiq bought $1,000 worth of bricks and figured out how to assemble 560 pieces to create Doncic mosaicNBA quarterback for the Dallas Mavericks. He posted it to Instagram in April and the Mavericks got noticed by sharing it with the team’s followers. This prompted another Lillard mosaic with similar results from the Portland Trail Blazers.

“I’m not sure Luka Doncic has ever seen a mosaic,” Sadiq said. “And Mark Cuban, I’m not sure he saw it either,” he added.

Cuban, owner of the Mavericks, told CNBC he didn’t see it.

Although Sadiq said he would almost certainly turn down a potential job as an engineer, he doesn’t count his time at Rutgers as being worth it. over $40,000 per year as waste. He said the university is hiring him for live events, including a football game against Ohio State in October and the inauguration of the school’s new president.

“That’s a huge part of the reason I’m a college student,” Sadiq said. “Everything was destroyed due to Covid. But I feel valuable because of my work.”

Sadiq visited Lions’ Ford Field last July to create a mosaic for the NFL club.

Credit: Dylan Sadik | Coober College

Finding Motivation in Detroit

In July Detroit Pistons became the first professional sports team to pay for a mosaic. Sadiq traveled to Motor City and created a portrait of Ben Wallace, the center of the Pistons Hall of Fame. While in town, he made a Red Wings mosaic for their NHL party.

He also handled sales for the NFL Lions, and for the MLB Tigers, he created a mosaic of slugger Miguel Cabrera. The team gave it to him to celebrate his 500th home run.

“I didn’t understand what I was doing,” Sadiq said of his experience in Detroit. “I was just trying to learn from it.”

Wandering around Detroit, Sadiq said he was intrigued by artwork that promoted black pride in the city. This spawned the idea to expand College Cuber.

“The artwork was amazing,” Sadiq said. “One of the things that I imagined is that I would like to see this creation live. I felt that it deserved a crowd, because such works of art carry a powerful message and look beautiful. before your eyes”.

Dylan Sadik said that the work of blacks in Detroit inspired him to create a live performance of the mosaic. He uses over 500 cubes to assemble a piece of art in three hours.

Credit: Dylan Sadik | Coober College

So, Sadiq made it possible. He has started charging up to $3,000 for a live performance and can create a piece of art in about three hours. For a flat fee of $8,000, customers can watch the event live and keep the artwork.

Sadik converted College Cuber into a limited company last September. He said that of the $38,000 he’s made in income since the Pistons became his first paying customer in July, about $27,000 has been made in profits. He cuts costs with a deal with a toy wholesaler and doesn’t pay rent for a studio in his mom’s basement where he makes his mosaics.

“She will probably start charging me (rent) now,” he joked.

Sadiq predicts that his sales could top $100,000 this year. So far, the Chiefs have acquired the Mahomes mosaic, and the Titans running back Derrick Henry is looking for the piece.

The NFL paid $8,000 for a mosaic of league commissioner Roger Goodell honoring Joe Favorito, a well-known sports public relations guru and sports business professor at Columbia University, I saw a video of one of Sadik’s mosaics. Favorito said he was “immediately shocked” and organized a performance.

“Creative talent is something we sometimes take for granted,” said Favorito. “I think our job is to help these young content creators who are doing something really unique. His background in engineering and science binds him in a special way, and that’s how he can do it. The fact that he can almost do it in his mind. and then knowing which parts to install and creating something wonderful and unique in a few hours is a gift.”

It all started with a trip to Detroit.

“I learned so much from this experience,” Sadiq said. “I went from being a kid filming videos online to acting. I would say this weekend in Detroit changed my whole life.”

Sadiq creates a mosaic of NBA star Kevin Durant for the Philadelphia Union football team. Durant is the co-owner of the MLS franchise.

Credit: Dylan Sadik | Coober College

Earnings in social networks

Sadik is not the first to monetize the mosaic in the cube. In 2019 CNBC spoke about the Italian artist Giovanni Contardi, who uses Rubik’s products to create works of art. Contardi sold a mosaic of the late Amy Winehouse for about $5,000 and gained social media attention with an article about NBA star LeBron James.

Sadiq contacted Rubik’s about a deal with the brand. The company is owned by Canadian toy manufacturer Spin Master, which trades on the OTC market.

“The pandemic has been a challenge for him, but it has also created digital opportunities that he can take advantage of,” Favorito said.

Social media is central to College Cuber’s business. His Instagram account became eligible for the Facebook rewards program. pays creators for posts coils. Sadiq said he has made about $550 from Instagram so far. He also joined TikTok. creator’s fund after his mosaic of Mahomes reached over 100,000 views.

As an additional income, he will make a mosaic and charge customers $750 for a video that companies can place in their advertisements.

But Sadiq does not charge professional sports teams for a video post. Instead, he is looking for retweets or shares to get attention. Manchester United and Barcelona helped out with football fans, and the NBA’s Orlando Magic also promoted the work on Twitter.

Sadiq said he plans to use the extra attention for good.

Last year, he attended his first NBA game courtesy of the New York Knicks, creating a mosaic of star Julius Randle. Sadiq, a New Jersey native, said visiting Madison Square Garden “changed his life” as he was able to gain a deeper understanding of “the culture and unity [sports] fans.”

Sadik is now asking his client teams to provide free tickets to fans who have never been to a sporting event.

“That’s what I want to experience in my work – to unite the fans,” he said.

Of the construction of the College Cuber, Sadiq said, “It’s just what happened and I’m aware of the value I bring to people.”

WATCH: This 24 year old makes portraits with hundreds of Rubik’s Cubes




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