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  1. Financial Losses to Fake Sporting Goods $6.5 Billion

Counterfeit Sports Memorabilia

News and information about counterfeit jerseys, fake autograph sales, and other counterfeit collectables and sports memorabilia. Data about the fakes are collected from criminal justice reports, industry officials and public information sources.

Between 1992 and 2014, police and brand enforcement officials with the National Hockey League (NHL) seized over 10.6 million counterfeit goods items of its hockey teams. These types of fakes consists of counterfeit or replica jerseys, t-shirts and hats of NHL hockey teams that are unauthorized. According to the NHL, the retail value of the counterfeits seized over the 12 year period was worth over $405 Million.

During the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, security agents seized over 11,000 counterfeit NHL items that were valued at over $2.5 Million.

:  Lisa Balde, “NHL Warns Blackhawks Fans of Counterfeit Merchandise,” NBC Chicago, May 19, 2014.

At the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, an estimated 35,000 counterfeit Hockey Canada jerseys were available for sale, according to the licensing manager of the team. During the 2010 Winter Games, security officials and brand trademark enforcement officials were able to seize about 17,000 counterfeit jerseys.

At the 201 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, an estimated 60 to 80 percent of the Team Canada Hockey jerseys are believed to have been counterfeited. The jerseys are offered at online websites, where the team jerseys are offered for around $20. Authentic jerseys that the hockey players wear on the ice costs about $450.

:  Showwei Chu, “Hockey Canada going after jersey counterfeiters,” 680 News, February 20, 2014.

In 2012, the major professional sports leagues in the United States lost over $13 Billion in revenue due to sales of counterfeit jerseys and apparel.

Merchandise of the National Football League (NFL) had the most losses to counterfeits, with nearly $3 Billion of the total, according to The Licensing Letter.

Authentic “elite” jerseys, which are similar to the jerseys worn by NFL players on game day, retail for $250. Sellers of the counterfeit jersey, with the Nike logo, NFL hologram, and other key indicators, sell for $75.

:  Allan Brettman, “NFL, Nike fight to keep counterfeit products off the market,” Orgonian, November 16, 2013.

According to a press release by the Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports Logos, officials with the National Hockey League (NHL) seized over 3,000 counterfeit pieces of merchandise bearing logos of its team during the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. The counterfeit goods had a retail value of over $140,000.

:  Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports Logos, “Counterfeiters Skating on Thin Ice With Increased NHL Enforcement During Penguins’ Conference Finals,” Press Release, PR Newswire, May 30, 2013.

According to the 5 biggest golf manufacturers, sales of counterfeit golf clubs and equipment is equal to about 10 percent of the total legitimate golf market.

95 percent of the sales of fake golf clubs takes place over the Internet, with almost all of the items being shipped from China.

During a Spring 2012 enforcement campaign, brand owners shut down over 20 websites that were selling counterfeit golf equipments.

The counterfeiters in China are able to easily reproduce a club using either a legitimate club or even using a photograph. By creating computer-aided designs, the counterfeiters produce clubs that look very similar to the legitimate club.

Buyers immediately notice the problems with the clubs due to its internal structure. Clubs meant to have a hollow head may be filled with steel, or the walls of the clubs were not made to specs.

Back in 2010, golf manufacturers lost an estimated $6.5 Billion to counterfeits.

:  John Paul Newport, “Psst–Wanna Buy a Counterfeit Club?,” Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2013.

During the time period of the 2012 NFL season, officers with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized a total of $17 Million worth of counterfeit jerseys, tickets and other materials. 41 people were also arrested during the September 2012 to February 2013 time period.

The fake items seized by authorities during this time were unlicensed jerseys, hats, t-shirts and jackets. In addition, 168 counterfeit tickets worth $154,000 were seized.

:  Greg Botelho, “Feds seize over $17 million in fake NFL goods, Super Bowl tickets,” CNN, February 23, 2013.

In 2011, the city of New Orleans had the most counterfeit NFL products seized during the year with over 7,100 counterfeit items. The value of the fake goods was worth over $1 Million.

As the site of the 2013 Superbowl, law enforcement agencies conducted raids in order to clean up the city of counterfeit merchandise. Nearly 800 fake items worth $29,630 were seized in the months leading up to the Superbowl by US Immigration and Custom Enforcement.

:  “800 counterfeit sports hats, jerseys confiscated in New Orleans,” Fox 8 New Orleans, October 25, 2012.

United States based cap maker New Era reported losing $300 Million a year in sales to foreign companies selling counterfeit baseball caps. In 2011, the company seized 850,000 counterfeit versions of its baseball caps in 298 factories in Brazil, China and Vietnam.

According to company officials, only 30 to 40 percent of the counterfeit market in baseball caps are being seized.

It was previously reported that New Era spends $1.5 Million per year on anti-counterfeiting operations and staff.

(See all losses to clothing companies from replicas.)

:  James Fink, “New Era battles counterfeit cap makers,” Buffalo Business First, September 21, 2012.

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized 13,023 counterfeit items during a two week campaign in Kansas City, Missouri leading up to the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.Included in the seizures were replica jerseys, memorabilia and fake tickets. 20 percent of the fake items seized were products of other professional sporting leagues such as the NFL. In total, the fake goods had a street value of $540,000.

On average, Major League Baseball seizes around 600,000 counterfeit items bearing the logo of its teams.

:  Associated Press, “Counterfeit MLB merchandise seized in Kansas City prior to All-Star Game,” nj.com, July 12, 2012.

Authorities seized over 15,000 counterfeit NFL jerseys in the days leading up to the 2011 Super Bowl. In total, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized $3.56 Million worth of counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise during the event.

Between the 2007 and 2001 Super Bowls, over 66,000 counterfeit items were seized in total over the 4 years. The counterfeit goods had a value of $6.36 Million.

:  Jessica Dickler, “Feds crack down on counterfeit Super Bowl gear,” CNN, January 25, 2012.