Counterfeit Jersey Manufacturers Trying to Cash In on Super Bowl XLV

Baseball may be America’s favorite past time, but football is America’s most watched sport with the Super Bowl being the ultimate showdown.  So naturally, the Super Bowl attracts all kinds of revenue, from television commercials, merchandise, T-shirts and especially jerseys.

Super Bowl player jerseys can produce hundred of millions of dollars in profits, according to The New York Times.  Many of the purchasing transactions happen online, and there has been an increase in the sales of fake jerseys, which are usually made in China. 

A recent report from MarkMonitor, a brand protection company, estimates that approximately 1.2 million fake jerseys are sold online each year.  Over 1,300 sites were found selling these faux jerseys, posing as real ones made by American brands.  Many of these web sites are linked to Chinese domain names.

Frederick Felman, the chief marketing officer at MarkMonitor says, "Online fraudsters see a tremendous opportunity in the passion and loyalty of millions of sports fans, taking advantage of both brands and fans online."

Felman says the clutter of these businesses’ ads can sometimes overtake advertisements of genuine manufacturers and retailers.

"These scammers compete with legitimate online advertisers and e-commerce sites, driving up costs for the brands and confusing fans," Felman added.

These fraud companies have no problem finding customers when they sell merchandise for less than 20 percent of full retail price.

The NFL sold $1.3 billion worth of licensed apparel in 2009. Jerseys were responsible for more than half of that revenue.

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