How to Spot Counterfeit Football Merchandise

NFLEarlier this year federal officials announced a crackdown on counterfeit goods, ending in the seizure of more than $21.6 million in fake NFL merchandise. 

As you may or may not know, counterfeiters use inferior materials and craftsmanship to produce look-alike products that do not benefit the teams, the players, or the employees of the U.S. based companies and trademark holders. Honestly, the only place your support for the team is going is into the pockets of criminals hiding out abroad.

With kickoff right around the corner, DSS has decided to provide our readers with some quick tips and tricks on how to spot a fake.

  • Tags tell all. In most counterfeit NFL gear, there is only one tag for washing instructions. However, in a authentic pieces, there are two tags; one for washing instructions and a second for a serial number. That quality of these tags often differ as well – the real ones are shiny and smooth while the fake ones feel like paper.
  • The look and feel of the jersey is your second indicator if you’re dealing with a counterfeit product. The numbers and/or lettering on an authentic NFL jersey will have a smooth look and wont feel loose or fragile to the touch. On the other hand, a fake jersey will feel likely feel rough, the colors will seem faded or wrong all together and the lettering will often times begin to peel away.
  • Lastly, the price of the jersey is probably the best giveaway to spot a fake jersey. Most of these fake jerseys sport a $50 price tag. Remember you get what you pay for and the quality is equal to what you pay for the jersey – cheap.

Consumers should be made aware that these counterfeit items are found in both stores and websites. Some studies show that as many as 800,000 counterfeit jerseys are sold online each year.

DSS is working around the clock to stop the sale of counterfeit merchandise. To learn how AuthentiGuard can protect consumers and brands alike, please visit www.AuthentiGuard.com

“Consumers, the Missing Soldiers in the War on Counterfeit Goods” Webinar on June 13

DSS, Inc. a leader in anti-counterfeiting and authentication solutions, will host a webinar on June 13, 2014 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. EST

The webinar titled “Consumers, the Missing Soldiers in the War on Counterfeit Goods, Find Out What They Think” will discuss the findings of the DSS commissioned market research survey titled “DSS Secure Counterfeit Study.”

Pat McInally

Pat McInally, NFL

Ron Guido

Ron Guido

 

 

 

 

 

 

The webinar will feature industry experts Ron Guido, former vice president of Global Brand Protection and Supply Chain Integrity for Johnson & Johnson and Pat McInally, former NFL player, syndicated columnist, author and creator of Kenner Toy’s “Starting Line-up.” Larry Shannon-Missal from Harris Interactive will discuss the research methodology behind the market research survey.

The webinar will cover:

  1.  Current online shopping habits.
  2.  Perceived advantages and disadvantages of shopping online.
  3.  An exploration of counterfeiting and other online shopping concerns.
  4.  The potential impact authentication systems could have for online shopping.

The webinar will provide an inside look into online consumer’s behavior and consumer opinion of online counterfeits. DSS is offering the FULL research summary, free of charge, to all webinar attendees. To sign up, please follow the instructions provided at this link.

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Document Security Systems, Inc. from January 2-8, 2014 among 1,015 U.S. smartphone owners ages 18 and older. The online survey was not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please call 585-325-3610.

About Pat McInally Pat McInally graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1975.  While at Harvard, he was consensus first team All-American (wide receiver), named second team All-America in his junior season, named First Team All-New England and All-East junior and senior years.  In 1974, he was named both New England Player of the Year and National Football Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete.  He was also named All-Ivy League as punter and wide receiver  and played in the East-West Shrine Game, Hula Bowl, Senior Bowl (first Ivy Leaguer) and College All-Star Game.

In 1975 he was drafted by the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals.  He was the only NFL player ever to achieve a perfect score of 50 on the Wonderlic Intelligence Test.   Mr. McInally’s professional football career includes being named to the NFL 1976 All-Rookie Team, leading the NFL in punting in the 1978-79 and 1981-82 seasons, being named to the 1982 All-Pro Team, and playing in the Pro Bowl as well as playing in Super Bowl XVI.   He has the distinction of being the only Harvard graduate to play in both the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl.

After playing professional football, Pat McInally was enshrined in the Harvard Athletic Hall of Fame, enshrined in the Orange County Hall of Fame, Named to the All-Time Cincinnati Bengal Team, named to the All-Time Orange County Football Team, named to the All-Time,  All-Ivy League Silver Anniversary Team, as both punter and wide receiver, and enshrined in the Collegiate Football Hall of Fame as one of only six individuals named as the top scholar-athletes of the 20th Century.

In the 1980’s, Pat McInally had the number one syndicated sports column in the country, “Pat Answers for Kids”, a weekly article, with readership in excess of 20 million. He also wrote “Moms & Dads, Kids & Sports”, published by Scribners and authored articles for NFL.com, PopWarner.com, NYSCA, Pony League Baseball, soccer organizations, and PacifiCare.com. In 1987 he created Kenner Toys’ “Starting Line-Up”, which is expected to get over 700 million dollars in sales over the next 13 years.   He has worked with the National Council of Youth Sports, National Park and Recreation Association, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and the American Football Coaches Associations.  He presently serves on the NFL’s Youth Football Board with Commissioner Roger Goodall.

About Ron Guido Ron Guido is an independent consultant specializing in brand protection, marketing and supply chain management.  Ron has 36 years of experience with Johnson & Johnson.  He has held executive level positions in the areas of operations, sales & marketing, business development, information technology and general management.

His most recent role was Vice President, Global Brand Protection for Johnson & Johnson where his group was responsible for anti-counterfeiting programs and policies. He continues to consult on the topic of supply security and is broadly recognized by industry peers and government agencies as a leading authority on anti-counterfeiting practices and technologies.

He is a Board member for a charitable medical organization known as Operation Smile and an advisor to the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Ron holds three patents for medical devices.

Ron has an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from Rutgers University and a Masters in Management Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

About Nielsen & The Harris Poll On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll.  Nielsen Holdings N.V. is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Counterfeit Tickets – A Growing Problem?

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by Pat McInally, DSS Director of Sports and Entertainment
949-466-2460

Imagine scoring coveted tickets to a concert. You spend weeks, months even, excitedly preparing for the day but, when you get to the venue – security won’t let you in. 

Unfortunately, this is what happens to hundreds, even thousands, of attendees each year. Today’s phony tickets look and feel authentic to the buyer – but they will not get the holder into the concert, fairground or sporting event. 

In just the last month news broke about…

  1. NHL warns unsuspecting fans that they may be targeted by bootleggers selling unauthorized or knock-off tickets (Source)
  2. Police Warn of Tickets for Fake Fairgrounds Event (Source)
  3. Annual Dollar Amount of Ticket Fraud? $4 Billion. (Source)
  4. Authorities Investigate Bogus Blackhawks Tickets (Source)
  5. Suspected Counterfeit Tickets at Coppin Graduation – Hundreds Shut Out (Source)

Given the seriousness of this growing problem, what can these major venues do to protect their consumers?

Stay tuned to find out…

 

For more information on how AuthentiSuite can protect brands and consumers alike, please visit www.AuthentiGuard.com

Consumers Demand Change

by Pat McInally, DSS Director of Sports and Entertainment
949-466-2460

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Counterfeit products in the sports industry are at an all time high. In just the last few months news broke about: 2,000 fake FIFA World Cups floating around China (Source), a $21.6 million seizure of fake NFL merchandise (Source), and a bust of online counterfeit baseball cards (Source). Every major sports industry is being effected.

Many fans purchase memorabilia in the hopes that it will someday be worth much more. Unfortunately, counterfeiters use inferior materials and craftsmanship to produce look-alike products that hold little to no value.  Honestly in these cases, the only place consumers’ support for the team is going is into the pockets of criminals.

And the consumers are not happy about this. According to a Harris Poll conducted on behalf of DSS in January of 1,000 smartphone owners,  over nine in ten (92%) smartphone owners agree – 72% strongly so – that they’d be angry if they bought someone a product and it turned out to be counterfeit/fake. Counterfeited brands don’t come away untarnished: over seven in ten (72%) say that if they received a counterfeit or fake item from an online retailer, it would lower their trust in the brand being imitated. 

Where are the majority of these counterfeits being sold? The internet. With auction sites and the never ending realm of the web, it has been nearly impossible for consumers to protect themselves from unknowingly purchasing these knockoff products.

There is hope though – according to the same Harris Poll, nine in ten (90%) smartphone owners say they’d have more confidence purchasing a product online if they could verify that the seller was ‘authorized.’ And DSS’s AuthentiSite offers just that. 

A brand who licenses AuthentiSite can employ the mark to its authorized dealers for use on their websites. This revolutionary authentication technology engages the consumer by allowing him or her to validate reseller websites quickly and warning them if they are on a fake site all through an easy to use smartphone APP- giving consumers peace of mind and further trust in a brand. 

Research Methodology: 
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Document Security Systems, Inc. from January 2-8th, 2014 among 1,015 U.S. smartphone owners ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please call the DSS Corporate Office at 585-325-3610.

Operation Fake Sweep

Is that brand new jersey starting to fray? Or that awesome original foam finger going a little…limp? How about that Patriots koozie you got on the street, is it keeping your beer kind of, warm?

Well, if you answered yes to any of those questions, you have probably been the victim of fraud.

Fortunately, members of the ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection are working together to make sure this won’t happen again with Operation ‘Fake Sweep’.

Beginning last year and ending just last week, Operation ‘Fake Sweep’ is an anti-counterfeit operation designed to protect one of America’s biggest days: The Super Bowl. Targeting online stores, flea markets and street vendors, this operation resulted in $4.8 million worth of fake NFL merchandise being confiscated, including 42,692 non-authentic Super Bowl items.

The numbers are up from last year where a similar operation collected $3.72 million dollars’ worth of illegal goods. This growth is a sign to consumers and the government alike that counterfeiting is a real and growing problem.

You get what you pay for. Counterfeiters use inferior materials and craftsmanship to produce look-alike products that do not benefit the teams, the players, or the employees of the U.S. based companies and trademark holders.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop with the NFL. As of last year Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League all reported feeling the strain of counterfeit sales.

So this year, show real support for your team by only buying genuine products from licensed providers.