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Counterfeit Stanley Cup Playoffs Merchandise: Fact vs. Fiction

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
PHILADELPHIA – May 18, 2010 – Hockey fans aren’t the only ones flocking to Philadelphia for the Eastern Conference Finals match-up between the Flyers and the Canadiens. So are counterfeiters, warns the NHL. When it comes to purchasing authentic 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs merchandise, the NHL wants to separate fact from fiction to protect consumers.

FICTION: There’s no way for me to tell a real product from a fake.

FACT: Although counterfeiters are becoming savvier, fans can avoid being victimized by shopping carefully and using the following guidelines:
•Look for the hologram sticker or holographic hangtag and a sewn-in or screen printed neck label identifying a licensee that has been authorized by the NHL to produce "genuine" or "official" merchandise.
•Shop at legitimate retailers, such as the Official Flyers Team Store and rather than buy items from street vendors, flea markets, overseas websites or other questionable sources
•Beware of ripped tags or irregular markings on apparel.
•If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

FICTION: Counterfeiting isn’t that big of a problem.

FACT: Counterfeiting is a significant issue, particularly during large sporting events like the Stanley Cup Playoffs. During the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs, working closely with local law enforcement, the NHL was involved in the seizure of over 3,100 pieces of counterfeit NHL merchandise with a retail value of approximately $200,000. Since 1993, the NHL – through its membership in the Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports logos (CAPS) – has been involved in the seizure of an estimated 9.9 million pieces of counterfeit merchandise featuring the logos of various professional sports leagues and teams, colleges and universities – valued at more than $360 million.

FICTION: Counterfeit souvenirs are just as good as the real thing.

FACT: Counterfeits are notorious for inferior quality. Seized goods from past events have included misspelled player names, poor quality screen-printing, inferior embroidery, outdated logos, inaccurate team colors, and materials that do not meet applicable quality and safety standards.

FICTION: Counterfeits are reasonably priced souvenirs, and genuine merchandise is too expensive.

FACT: The NHL offers genuine Stanley Cup Playoffs merchandise at a wide range of prices. Purchasing authorized League merchandise ensures the quality of that souvenir and also provides a reputable source for concerns, returns, and exchanges. Adds Tom Prochnow, group vice president of legal and business affairs for NHL Enterprises: "When it comes to counterfeits, you get what you pay for. A counterfeit t-shirt is not a keepsake if it contains a typo or shrinks three sizes when you put it in the laundry."

FICTION: Counterfeiting doesn’t impact the average consumer.

FACT: Businesses worldwide lose an estimated $600 – 700 billion annually due to counterfeiting, according to the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC). The Philadelphia market is not immune to the counterfeiting problem, as counterfeiters not only take sales away from legitimate retailers in the area but also fail to pay taxes to support the community. Every sale given to a counterfeiter is a potential sale lost by a local business that plays by the rules.

FICTION: People don’t sell counterfeits in Philadelphia.

FACT: Large sporting events (including the Stanley Cup Playoffs) are a magnet for counterfeiters, many of whom travel around the country with the sole intention of scamming innocent sports fans. Security at all Stanley Cup Playoffs events will be tight, and the NHL will be working closely with local state and federal law enforcement authorities, who will be responsible for enforcing laws prohibiting the sale of counterfeit merchandise. FICTION: Customers are helpless against counterfeiters. FACT: An organization exists to help consumers spot counterfeits: the Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports logos (CAPS), an alliance formed by The Collegiate Licensing Company, Major League Baseball Properties, Inc., NBA Properties, Inc., NFL Properties LLC, and NHL Enterprises, L.P. in 1992 to address common trademark protection and enforcement matters of its members. For more information, call 1-800-TEL-CAPS (835-2277) or visit
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