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Non-authentic jersey... from the team itself!


-kj

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As you may know, I'm a totally nutso supporter of the Minnesota Thunder, the local pro soccer team that plays in the USL First Division. And, we all know that I'm a jersey nut, duh. :)

So, in 2005, my first year having season tickets, I bought a Thunder shirt. Except that the Thunder said that Adidas didn't make the kit in 2XL. I had a hard time believing that, but I decided to buy the 2XL they did offer, which was a fairly generic Adidas template. At least they discounted it compared to the real shirts.

For comparison, the Thunder wore this kit in 2005, same as the San Jose Earthquakes, among others:

Thunder-MattSchmidt.jpg

And the shirt I bought (forgive the quickly taken picture from a few minutes ago):

thunder-05-wrong.jpg

The Thunder also have a tendency to stock absolutely no merchandise--t-shirts or anything else--in 2XL. Their supplier, Soccer USA (owned by the owner of the Thunder) also doesn't stock 2XL anything, as I found out trying to buy a US national team shirt last summer. Because of this, I've constantly dropped unsubtle hints to the GM that I'm trying to give them money if only they'd have merch I could wear.

So, in early May, the GM posted on the team message board that the 2007 shirts were available for ordering online--including 2XL. Within minutes of reading that I went to the Thunder website and ordered a shirt, along with some tickets. The shirt in question:

royaljersey.jpgTHN070506%20036.jpg

By the early part of June I'd received all of the tickets, but no shirt. I mentioned that, an the GM said that Adidas had the 2XL shirts on backorder, after telling the team the shirts would be available. I just sighed to myself, resigned to wait for my shirt. Earlier this week I e-mailed the GM about something else, and also asked about an update on the shirt, but didn't get a response.

I got home about an hour ago, and I had a package from the Thunder. Ooh, my shirt! So, I open it.

Well, it's my shirt... sort of...

thunder-07-wrong.jpg

Is the difference obvious to anyone else?

So, I've paid full price for the team's kit, and I got a different design that they don't wear. I figure I have a few options:

- Suck it up and deal, because chances are good that I'm never going to get the real thing, and at least I got the shirt.

- Ask for a partial refund on the shirt, since I did not get the shirt as advertised.

- Return the shirt and ask them to get the right shirt.

- Return the shirt and ask for a full refund.

What are your thoughts on this? It's not a major league operation, I realize, and I know that I'm more particular about the shirt than the average fan or even hard-core supporter. But, if I'm going to buy a shirt, I want it to be what the team actually wears, and that's what I was promised when I ordered it.

(At least it seems to fit okay. *heh*)

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I'd present them with these two options:

-Give me the real shirt, or

-Give me half (or whatever you, Kevin, think is fair) of my money back

I'd refuse to pay full price for an authentic that isn't.

Oh, which of course means there is a third option.

-Give me all my money back and here's your inaccurate shirt.

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Is this league in season? If not, could this be a new design that hasn't been unveiled yet? If not, return it and get your money back, because you know that even if it fits, you won't be happy wearing a poorly designed replica.

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[R]eturn it and get your money back, because you know that even if it fits, you won't be happy wearing a poorly designed replica.

There you go. You aren't going to be happy with it, and it isn't what they advertised -- especially given the picture they posted.

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The season's roughly halfway through. I don't think they're thinking ahead to their 2008 kits yet.

You're all right, of course, I'm not going to be satisfied with this. I'm going to ask about them getting the right shirt, but otherwise, I'm going to try and return it to get a refund.

This probably means I won't have a new shirt for next month's roadtrip to Portland/Seattle/Vancouver. Meh.

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not for nothing, but when you by a jersey..whether it's football, soccer, baseball or hockey..you want it to be as authentic as possible. I say don't settle on that shirt..remind them you are a paying customer and you won't accept a second rate item.

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Its a shirt advertising Comcast cable. They should be paying you to wear it.

I like this point. It's obvious, and better fits Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, and so on, but it still is a paradox, isn't it? We all pay to be walking billboards for various companies. I think that if any among us are mildly attractive, we should get some sort of discount on the clothing. It's only fair.

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You guys are all right on. I was in Athens during Euro 2004 on the very day the Greek national team played in the final. So, not knowing much at the time about soccer jerseys, I got swept up in the euphoria and spent quite a bit on what I thought was an accurate replica of the Greek national team jersey.

Now that I know a little bit more about soccer jerseys, I've come to realize that what I had wasn't even close to being a reasonable facsimile.

My point here, is that I don't enjoy wearing that shirt, so I never do. Mockba, the same is likely to happen with this knock-off Thunder jersey -- especially knowing you spent cash on an authentic.

Send it back. Chances are these guys probably don't realize there are some fans out there who know the difference.

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Well, I did get a quick answer from the GM, and it seems that Adidas is telling them they only have the "replica" available in 2XL. He did, at least, apologize and said that they'd refund me if I'm not happy with it.

Now, to me, replica shouldn't mean that it's a different style. Toronto FC, for example, uses the same basic template, just with different colors, and mlsgear.com offers those in 2XL.

I'm going to do some research.

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Well, I did get a quick answer from the GM, and it seems that Adidas is telling them they only have the "replica" available in 2XL. He did, at least, apologize and said that they'd refund me if I'm not happy with it.

Now, to me, replica shouldn't mean that it's a different style. Toronto FC, for example, uses the same basic template, just with different colors, and mlsgear.com offers those in 2XL.

I'm going to do some research.

At least he responded and offered a refund. That, to me, says they at least give a damn about customer satisfaction.

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Man, it's one thing to knowingly buy a knockoff from ebay if you've seen it before and are fine with it, but it's an entirely different thing to get sent a replica when you have paid for an authentic.

But when a professional sports franchise does that to you? That's just plain wrong. I realize the level The Thunder are operating at, but they should have their act together better than that.

JeffB

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Its a shirt advertising Comcast cable. They should be paying you to wear it.

I like this point. It's obvious, and better fits Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, and so on, but it still is a paradox, isn't it? We all pay to be walking billboards for various companies. I think that if any among us are mildly attractive, we should get some sort of discount on the clothing. It's only fair.

And inevitably, they'd upcharge those of us who aren't dashing and debonaire for ruining their brand's image. :P

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Mockba, I can totally relate to your jersey woes. My local pro team - the Rhode Island Stingrays - have some very simple and classy adidas kits.

Borman_1.jpg

However, their souvenir stand only sells very generic Umbro jerseys. I may just have to ask for a game-worn jersey, one home and one road, just because I'm as anal about my jerseys as pretty much everyone on this board.

It's a gift...and a curse... B)

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It isn't soccer, but our local independent league team, the Winnipeg Goldeyes, wears some nice-looking white vest-red undershirt jerseys on the field, while they only sell raglan-sleeved "replicas" at their team store.

As in other cases, if you want to go for the real thing, you pretty much have to go game-worn. Due to laziness, their missing out on my fan dollars.

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It isn't soccer, but our local independent league team, the Winnipeg Goldeyes, wears some nice-looking white vest-red undershirt jerseys on the field, while they only sell raglan-sleeved "replicas" at their team store.

As in other cases, if you want to go for the real thing, you pretty much have to go game-worn. Due to laziness, their missing out on my fan dollars.

Well if I remember correctly, the Reds did this too. Before they switched away from vests, the authentics were just the vest itself, and you couldn't buy the undershirts (at least on MLB.com anyways). I ended up having to buy the road vest on MLB.com and then buy the undershirts on eBay (but then I got one with the 10/25 yr World Champs patch and one with the 2003 Inaugural Season at GABP patch).

If you were to get the replica Reds jerseys back then, they were raglan style with the wrong color sleeves (black for home, red for road when it was the opposite on the real thing).

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Option "E": Lose some weight and buy an XL.

:-P

Dude, even when I lost a bunch of weight a few years ago, I wasn't anywhere close to wearing an XL.

In summary, eat me. :P

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