Counterfeiting in the World of Sports
Sporting fans over the world make their passion known by wearing, or sporting, the
match jersey of their favourite team on a regular basis. Many will buy new
merchandise each season, keeping up with the latest designs and team rosters. Some
will purchase hats, scarves and flags, while others go so far as to buy basketball shoes
or soccer boots designed by their favourite players. Unfortunately, many also express
their admiration and support by wearing counterfeit sports merchandise, bought at
only a fraction of the price and with 0% of the price actually going back to the club or
player the product appears to represent.
Sporting merchandise and online streaming is an enormous piracy market, with
hundreds of matches and events televised or streamed online at any given moment.
What many fans seem to disregard is the fact that they are cheating their own clubs
and favourite players out of hard-earned revenue when they purchase these goods
or services illegally.
Illegal online streaming sites are difficult to trace, as are the supply chain of
counterfeit merchandise. Companies, clubs, and industry experts are therefore
looking at ways of better identifying and authenticating original products as well as
protecting their intellectual property rights. Both sporting clubs and television
companies are forced to invest heavily in anti-counterfeiting services in order to
protect their income sources.