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The Big Ol' Counterfeit Jersey Thread


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You do make a good point, however, if you dropped the prices of jerseys, the amount of fakes would go down dramatically. Would there still be people wearing fakes? Of course, but there will be far less of them.

Exactly. The IP rights crowd is 100% dead on right when it comes to the law. However, the law and reality are two different things... after all, if they weren't, couldn't you shut down the drug trade by reminding organized crime elements that they are actually in violation of various statutes pertaining to controlled substances?

The world doesn't work that way. Economics is the REAL law that affects how people behave in this situation. It's clear that manufacturers are hoping to make this problem go away, but of course the higher and higher their prices get the more incentive there is for counterfeiters to produce fakes and for consumers to buy them. One of three things will likely happen here: the Nikes and Reeboks of the world will have to really get good at persuading governments to clamp down on this activity far harder than they have been up to now, the big licensees will have to reduce their prices to wipe out the appeal of fakes to consumers, or the licensees will lose more and more market share to the counterfeiters.

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As for the IP Theft issue, I can pretty much guanatee that ZERO DESIGNERS are being affected by the sale of knock-off jerseys, as I'll bet every designers that's worked on ANY of the logo's used in any sports league today will have been PAID ALREADY. They'll have recieved a one off fee for the entire project and then signed ownership of the logo OVER TO THE TEAM OR LEAGUE. So yeah IP theft has still occured but it wont have hit the designer in the pocket as he/she doesn't receive a percentage of the profits generated from their work anyway.

Actually not true. If you work for a company that sells those jerseys and offers a bonus based on sales, then you are losing money based on someone buying a counterfeit instead of a legit jersey. Or a counterfeit instead of a t-shirt. Or supporting a bogus business and allowing it to exist.

Yeah nice Hypothetical, but that's not how the NFL works. The NFL owns the rights to ALL the logos and licences them to Nike for the uniforms. The logo's are designed either in house by designers on a fixed wage, or by an outside agency who are paid a one off fee.

As for the IP Theft issue, I can pretty much guanatee that ZERO DESIGNERS are being affected by the sale of knock-off jerseys, as I'll bet every designers that's worked on ANY of the logo's used in any sports league today will have been PAID ALREADY. They'll have recieved a one off fee for the entire project and then signed ownership of the logo OVER TO THE TEAM OR LEAGUE. So yeah IP theft has still occured but it wont have hit the designer in the pocket as he/she doesn't receive a percentage of the profits generated from their work anyway.

Actually not true. If you work for a company that sells those jerseys and offers a bonus based on sales, then you are losing money based on someone buying a counterfeit instead of a legit jersey. Or a counterfeit instead of a t-shirt. Or supporting a bogus business and allowing it to exist.

9ersSteve, that's a really stupid post.

Think about it - teams / leagues have a budget for designs, and a percentage of that budget is allocated to paying the artists or design firms for their work. If they're not selling as much legit stuff due to people buying fakes, then eventually the apparel and license deals go down, and all of a sudden the revenue generated by coming up with a redesign is lower, which means that the budget is lower, which means that the designer gets paid less.

Honestly, to think that everyone involved in producing a design isn't affected by IP theft is ridiculous at best.

In the long term yeah you're 100% correct, but people were talking in here like designers recieve a percentage of every jersey sold, in real time, and that's not the case. That was what I meant by that statement, sorry if I wasn't 100% clear on that. But with that said lets be honest here, Nike or whoever the manufacturer is would be likely to take DRASTIC action against counterfieters LONG before the trickle down in losses made a serious dent in what they pay designers, for two reasons.

1. they pay designers a MINISCULE amount compared with the profits they generate from the goods they sell with the designs on them, so

2. If they ever lost the kind of money required to reduce the amount profit they make to the point where budgets for design are slashed they'd have far bigger things to worry about than paying designers!

The facts are, Authentic jerseys are priced high, in order to make them a luxury item, the result is that it leaves them open to having their goods counterfieted. It's NOT RIGHT, but that is the cause. Does it harm the design industry?YES.

But I'd argue the harm it does affects smaller designers FAR more. Nike/Reebok/Addidas etc etc's INACTION with regards IP theft (because right now it's not hurting their balance books enough) means that counterfieters think it's OK to steal ANYONE'S work! Smaller designer's are losing out thru IP theft of their work and there's NOTHING THEY CAN DO, because if BIG COMPANIES let it slide then the courts dont take IP THEFT SERIOUSLY ENOUGH!

As a result you end up with situations like Davidson posted about this morning where HIS designs are ripped off again! Now I dont want to speculate as to Davidson's financial situation but I bet he cant afford to lose out on the time and what should rightfully be his money in the way Nike can! Becuase (in this case) Nike dont (or wont) do anything about it, you can bet Davidson has little hope of stopping those using his work without permission, or seeing any money for his work if they do keep using it.

If you ask me THAT is the real harm that's being done to the design industry in this. Intelectual Property is not being protected in the way it SHOULD, because it isn't affect big companies profit lines, and that is WRONG. This is something big corporations COULD do a number of things to stop, TOMORROW if they wanted to, but wont, because there's no real financial benefit in it for them and that's all they care about. At the end of the day they're screwing the designers of the world too, they're just doing it in different ways.

9erssteve

Well I don't really disagree with that assessment, except that do we know that adidas, Nike, etc. aren't doing anything about the counterfeiters? For all I know (which admittedly isn't much) they are, it's just that it's a losing battle.

Ultimately, in business, you are correct - eventually it gets to the point where while you are still obligated to fight it, you still need to accept that you can't beat it and then counter it by caving in - i.e. lowering prices, etc.

However - it's possible that they've already done this. Maybe the prices are already factoring in the sweet spot where people will still buy their stuff as opposed to settling for a fake. You may not think it, the kid who doesn't have $300 might not think it, but maybe they've run the numbers and realized that if they raised an auth to $400, then a disproportionately high percentage of people would then switch to fakes, but at $300 they keep a high-enough percentage of customers to turn a big profit.

Remember - what is "high priced" is all relative. To a high school kid, yeah - $75 is "high" for a football jersey. To the bulk of their customers, Nike may feel that they're priced just right to balance the desire to save a buck and buy a fake vs the desire to buy a legit item.

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As for the IP Theft issue, I can pretty much guanatee that ZERO DESIGNERS are being affected by the sale of knock-off jerseys, as I'll bet every designers that's worked on ANY of the logo's used in any sports league today will have been PAID ALREADY. They'll have recieved a one off fee for the entire project and then signed ownership of the logo OVER TO THE TEAM OR LEAGUE. So yeah IP theft has still occured but it wont have hit the designer in the pocket as he/she doesn't receive a percentage of the profits generated from their work anyway.

Actually not true. If you work for a company that sells those jerseys and offers a bonus based on sales, then you are losing money based on someone buying a counterfeit instead of a legit jersey. Or a counterfeit instead of a t-shirt. Or supporting a bogus business and allowing it to exist.

Yeah nice Hypothetical, but that's not how the NFL works. The NFL owns the rights to ALL the logos and licences them to Nike for the uniforms. The logo's are designed either in house by designers on a fixed wage, or by an outside agency who are paid a one off fee.

Its not a hypothetical it happens at the manufactures. Designers work for the manufactures.

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As for the IP Theft issue, I can pretty much guanatee that ZERO DESIGNERS are being affected by the sale of knock-off jerseys, as I'll bet every designers that's worked on ANY of the logo's used in any sports league today will have been PAID ALREADY. They'll have recieved a one off fee for the entire project and then signed ownership of the logo OVER TO THE TEAM OR LEAGUE. So yeah IP theft has still occured but it wont have hit the designer in the pocket as he/she doesn't receive a percentage of the profits generated from their work anyway.

Actually not true. If you work for a company that sells those jerseys and offers a bonus based on sales, then you are losing money based on someone buying a counterfeit instead of a legit jersey. Or a counterfeit instead of a t-shirt. Or supporting a bogus business and allowing it to exist.

Yeah nice Hypothetical, but that's not how the NFL works. The NFL owns the rights to ALL the logos and licences them to Nike for the uniforms. The logo's are designed either in house by designers on a fixed wage, or by an outside agency who are paid a one off fee.

Its not a hypothetical it happens at the manufactures. Designers work for the manufactures.

Yeah you're right NIke probably does employ designers too. But if you think they're employed to design NFL uniforms EXCLUSIVELY, and that they receive any kind of "bonus" based on the sales of them then I think you're living in cloud cukoo land!

9erssteve

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As for the IP Theft issue, I can pretty much guanatee that ZERO DESIGNERS are being affected by the sale of knock-off jerseys, as I'll bet every designers that's worked on ANY of the logo's used in any sports league today will have been PAID ALREADY. They'll have recieved a one off fee for the entire project and then signed ownership of the logo OVER TO THE TEAM OR LEAGUE. So yeah IP theft has still occured but it wont have hit the designer in the pocket as he/she doesn't receive a percentage of the profits generated from their work anyway.

Actually not true. If you work for a company that sells those jerseys and offers a bonus based on sales, then you are losing money based on someone buying a counterfeit instead of a legit jersey. Or a counterfeit instead of a t-shirt. Or supporting a bogus business and allowing it to exist.

Yeah nice Hypothetical, but that's not how the NFL works. The NFL owns the rights to ALL the logos and licences them to Nike for the uniforms. The logo's are designed either in house by designers on a fixed wage, or by an outside agency who are paid a one off fee.

Its not a hypothetical it happens at the manufactures. Designers work for the manufactures.

Yeah you're right NIke probably does employ designers too. But if you think they're employed to design NFL uniforms EXCLUSIVELY, and that they receive any kind of "bonus" based on the sales of them then I think you're living in cloud cukoo land!

9erssteve

Dude, pcgd works (or worked) for Reebok. The company that had the NFL licence for ten years. I'd trust him on this one.

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Someone said they were at a game and said 75% of the jerseys were fake, I'd say that # isn't far off. I was a packers game last Sunday and I can say for certain atleast 50% were fake. And this is coming from someone who isn't to in depth with jerseys. But I know what a fake one looks like and some of these were bad. Teal green numbers, bad stiching, ect.

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Someone said they were at a game and said 75% of the jerseys were fake, I'd say that # isn't far off. I was a packers game last Sunday and I can say for certain atleast 50% were fake. And this is coming from someone who isn't to in depth with jerseys. But I know what a fake one looks like and some of these were bad. Teal green numbers, bad stiching, ect.

I find it's really bad at the Rogers Centre. I'm so sick of seeing the terrible Blue Jays fakes. The number font is wrong (they use the old split-letter font, not the new one), the letters in the "Blue Jays" wordmark are much taller than the real ones, and they are all made of the "cool base" material (the Blue Jays don't wear cool base).

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I've mentioned it before but I know under reebok the Dallas cowboys (maybe more but as far as I know only Dallas) never had the correct number fonts. It was like a regular block font. And the navy jerseys had it wrong too and I didn't even notice. So I mean if they're not gonna put forth the effort to get fairly big details like that right then they deserve to lose money to counterfeiters. I know it sounds bad but cmon, te biggest team in the league and you can't get them right??

Would a DIY jersey be as frowned upon as buying a fake??

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I'd have a little more sympathy for Nike, M&N etc. regarding the knockoffs if their pricey jerseys were produced in the US. But when you employ cheap overseas labor, and you're still marking up your product 1000%, I have no problem with knockoffs. Move the manufacturing back over here, then I will have a problem with it.

The consumer electronics industry long ago moved production overseas, but at least it has the benefit of keeping items priced relatively cheap (in the 80's, a 25" color TV was $500...probably $1200 in today's dollars). The day I buy a $250 jersey made in China is the day I get taken away in a straight jacket to a rubber room.

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Someone said they were at a game and said 75% of the jerseys were fake, I'd say that # isn't far off. I was a packers game last Sunday and I can say for certain atleast 50% were fake. And this is coming from someone who isn't to in depth with jerseys. But I know what a fake one looks like and some of these were bad. Teal green numbers, bad stiching, ect.

It's well over 50% at Twins games. No question. Huge wordmarks and incorrect number fonts are the most obvious indicators. They look awful...it's the burden of uniform nerdiness; most people probably don't notice.

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Vis-a-vis the history of the market, when do ya'll first remember seeing China reproductions? For me, I'm thinking Spring 2004 when I bought a Jimmy Smith Jaguars tackle twill jersey off of Ebay. But I didn't have it long enough or can't remember too much about it to certify that it was a repro, though I'm pretty sure it was. I then got an Artest jersey a year later (Palace brawl era) off Ebay which I think was China. I know for sure my first repro was in January 2007 - Reggie Bush Saints jersey.

I've attached pics of the latter two so if anyone can verify the Artest is illegit kindly share the details.

MD0DF.jpg

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8hp0q.jpg

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I remember seeing fake jerseys at flea markets and kiosk-type "stores" back in 1990. I don't know if they came from China or not (given the political climate, which I certainly wasn't in tune with back then, I'd say maybe not), but they certainly existed. You didn't see as many back then because you didn't see many of any type of jersey. Merchandising wasn't nearly as mature as it is now, and you had to go to a specialty store to find a real "authentic" jersey (which cost $60 - $80) and then get it custom lettered... and in some cases, numbered.

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Vis-a-vis the history of the market, when do ya'll first remember seeing China reproductions? For me, I'm thinking Spring 2004 when I bought a Jimmy Smith Jaguars tackle twill jersey off of Ebay. But I didn't have it long enough or can't remember too much about it to certify that it was a repro, though I'm pretty sure it was. I then got an Artest jersey a year later (Palace brawl era) off Ebay which I think was China. I know for sure my first repro was in January 2007 - Reggie Bush Saints jersey.

I saw my first known fakes during my first trip to China in 2002. Then as now they varied wildly in quality. The only fake jerseys you'd ever see people wearing at the time were teenage boys in soccer jerseys - usually either EPL or international kits. Those ones were typically well done and resembled the real thing, presumably because people actually knew what they were supposed to look like. The markets I frequented didn't have many jerseys from the North American leagues and the few that they did have were absolutely horrendous. The NHL jerseys could only have been made by people who had never actually seen a real hockey jersey before.

The fakes started popping up around home much later than in other cities, mainly because there really weren't any available for the home teams (CFL/AHL). With the Jets being back in Winnipeg the fakes are abundant, and I've even seen a few at CFL games lately (although I understand they've been common in Saskatchewan for a few years now).

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i remember buying my first jersey on http://www.weiketrade.hk when i google my jordan jersey .and found out it . and placed my order with my paypal .about 1 hours later . they sent me email saying that my payment was sucessful .and in 3 days they will ship my package . they sent my in the fourth day after payment and in another 7 days . i got my jersey .that's awesome for a price of 25 dollars.

Cool story loooooooogodud

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I certainly don't recall seeing it the 1990s, but then again, back then replicas were of higher quality and priced reasonably. Authentic were pricy (or so we thought), but there would have been no reason to get a counterfeit when you could get a decent replica. And of course the prevalence of the internet was not what it is.

I feel like I started really noticing it in the mid 2000s and anything I saw before then I probably chalked up to "replica quality downgrade"; I was naive that this could occur.

I want to say it's been the last three years or so that the number of fakes have outpaced the number of officially-licensed products at games.

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First bootleg jersey I saw was around 1994 - red Houston Rockets #34. One of my best friends bought it on holiday in Spain and wore it every practice our first year of high school basketball. It was actually pretty good quality compared to the authentics I had at the time - heavy mesh, sewn-on names & numbers, no manufacturer's tags or anything. I ended up buying it off him a few years later (then giving it back to him as a gag gift even later still).

There also used to be a stall in Birmingham's Rag Market that sold a load of dodgy US sports gear, mostly hockey & football. This'd have been around the same time, '94-'96. There was actually a sports shop that specialized in stuff from the US leagues just outside from where this stall was (the only place around to get authentic & pro-cut NBA jerseys back then), so it was easy enough to compare the real with the fake.

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i remember buying my first jersey on http://www.weiketrade.hk when i google my jordan jersey .and found out it . and placed my order with my paypal .about 1 hours later . they sent me email saying that my payment was sucessful .and in 3 days they will ship my package . they sent my in the fourth day after payment and in another 7 days . i got my jersey .that's awesome for a price of 25 dollars.

Checking their shipping info. looks like they are getting away from the brokerage free USPS, and going to the evil brown empire of UPS (along with DHL - not sure about their brokerage fees)

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I certainly don't recall seeing it the 1990s, but then again, back then replicas were of higher quality and priced reasonably. Authentic were pricy (or so we thought), but there would have been no reason to get a counterfeit when you could get a decent replica. And of course the prevalence of the internet was not what it is.

I feel like I started really noticing it in the mid 2000s and anything I saw before then I probably chalked up to "replica quality downgrade"; I was naive that this could occur.

I want to say it's been the last three years or so that the number of fakes have outpaced the number of officially-licensed products at games.

No surprise that the rise of fakes coincided with the dramatic price increases in authentics. When I was a kid in the early/mid 90s, you could get a NHL replica (admittedly not as good as the ones you can buy today) for about $50. Authentics were about $125. Now it's more than double that. Has polyester gone up that much in price over 15 years?

What's more, the old jerseys were made in Canada with pricy unionized labour. Now Chinese children make them for peanuts. Yet the price has doubled. I guess all that R&D costs big money. :rolleyes:

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I would argue to the death (literally - I won't stop arguing until your body can't take it anymore and you just spontaneously combust) that replicas were made better back in the mid '90s. The Logo Athletic, Wilson, Reebok, and whatever else there was back then were crap. I'd see kids at school all the time with jerseys that you couldn't even make out the numbers on, or logos screened over top of seams because of poor QC, etc. Also, replicas for the most part didn't have NFL shields on them (once that started in '92.) They'd have a AFC or NFC logo on the collar.

Sure for $30 they were fine, but certainly not higher quality than today's.

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