Piracy 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.

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