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NHL Enforcement Takes On Counterfeiters During Conference Finals

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
As the Los Angeles Kings head to the NHL’s 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference Final, Kings’ gear remains a hot commodity for hockey fans stricken with playoff fever. While Los Angeles fans are immersed in the excitement and drama of the playoffs, the NHL wants to help protect them from being hoodwinked by counterfeiters during the Kings’ playoff run.

The NHL warns unsuspecting fans, eager to commemorate this special event, that they may be targeted by bootleggers selling unauthorized and poorly produced knock-off merchandise.

“Counterfeiters tend to tap into the energy of high-profile events like the Stanley Cup Playoffs and take advantage of innocent fans,” said Tom Prochnow, Group Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs at NHL Enterprises, L.P. “Many consumers are unaware of the tell-tale signs that are associated with counterfeits. Just as in sports, the best defense is a good offense – with the right game plan, fans can protect themselves from being victimized.”

The NHL has a comprehensive anti-counterfeiting program to help protect fans looking to purchase genuine NHL jerseys and merchandise. Most important is the NHL hologram that is affixed to all licensed NHL products. To avoid being deceived by counterfeiters, Prochnow urges hockey fans to:

•    Look for the hologram sticker or holographic hangtag and a sewn-in or screen-printed label identifying the name of the NHL licensee that has been authorized by the NHL to produce “genuine” or “official” merchandise.
•    Shop at legitimate retailers, such as the TEAM LA store at STAPLES Center or, the official online store of the NHL, rather than buying items from street vendors, flea markets, overseas websites or other questionable sources.
•    Beware of ripped tags or irregular markings on apparel.

“The best way for fans to make certain they are getting the highest-quality products is to purchase officially licensed merchandise at trusted retailers,” Prochnow said. “Fans buy sports memorabilia to remember special moments in time and they rightfully expect that merchandise to last; unfortunately, that’s just not the case with counterfeits.”

The NHL works in conjunction with federal, state and local law enforcement officials who, throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, will enforce laws prohibiting the sale of counterfeit merchandise. According to the International Trademark Association (INTA), counterfeiting is estimated to have an impact of approximately $650 billion per year on businesses worldwide, resulting in the loss of 2.5 million jobs annually.

Last year, during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, working closely with law enforcement, the NHL was involved in the seizure of more than 11,000 pieces of counterfeit NHL merchandise with a retail value of more than $2,500,000. Since 1992, the NHL – through its membership in the Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports logos (CAPS) – has been involved in the seizure of more than 10.6 million pieces of counterfeit merchandise featuring the logos of various pro sports leagues, teams, colleges, and universities – valued at more than $405.5 million.

About CAPS:
The Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports logos (CAPS) is 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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