When Real Fans Become Fakes
With the soccer season in Europe already kicked-off and the new National Football League (NFL) starting in September, it’s that time of year when we see fans sporting their team’s new look in anticipation for the season ahead.
When you buy sports merchandise from your favourite team, you’re supporting them in all sorts of ways: fans show off their colors and express their enthusiasm as they celebrate thrilling victories and mourn crushing defeats. There are also other ways in which buying sports merchandise can help support a team, with the money recouped from such paraphernalia going towards all sorts of behind-the-scenes but extremely important purposes. This money can contribute towards, to name a few, training facilities so that the team can improve skills, paying support staff for various miscellaneous benefits off the field and recruitment programmes to ensure new and fresh talent each year. In short, when supporting a team, whether its in soccer, NFL, Major League Baseball (MLB) or even motorsport, at a local or national level, the backing you show on the outside also contributes to assisting your team to stay competitive and the players to play at their best.
Counterfeits in the sporting world
However, these myriad benefits are only realized when fans buy official sports paraphernalia, because counterfeit sports merchandise exists. Whether knowingly or unknowingly purchasing fake sports gear, it will turn out to be a superficial wearing of color without providing the real tangible benefits that show true camaraderie to the team.
There is a misconception that purchasing counterfeit sports merchandise doesn’t really affect the actual team, but that it only really harms fictitious middlemen. But here we’ve shown the many meaningful ways authentic sports items supports a team. Being behind your favourite team isn’t just wearing their colors, it’s watching every game, knowing their history, and being there through the bad times as well as the good. When fans buy the fake sports merchandise, they aren’t hurting some bogeyman sales company, they are hurting their team, taking away resources that would be spent on improving their competitive edge and ultimately creating a better team that fans can feel proud to root for.
Are you for Real?
Show your love for your team by joining the #ImForReal initiative.