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The National Basketball Association (NBA) has warned fans attending an All-Star event this weekend about counterfeiters attempting to sell fake merchandise.
The 2017 NBA All-Star Game is hosted in New Orleans from today, February 17 to Sunday, February 19.
The All-Star Game is an exhibition match between Eastern and Western-based NBA players.
However, the NBA warned fans on Monday, February 13 against purchasing “unauthorised and poorly made knock-off merchandise”.
The NBA said that counterfeiters “take advantage of basketball fans” who believe they are purchasing authentic NBA gear.
Counterfeiters, the release said, target events such as the All-Star Game as fans are eager to take home a memourable souvenir.
The NBA has an anti-counterfeiting programme designed to protect its fans.
The basketball association advised fans to look for the hologram sticker identifying the name of the relevant NBA licensee and to shop at NBA-authorised retailers instead of buying items from street vendors.
Ayala Deutsch, NBA executive vice president and deputy general counsel, said: “It’s been three years since the NBA last held the All-Star Game in New Orleans, which means NBA products will be at a premium throughout All-Star.
“We expect official NBA merchandise will be in high-demand, and it is our responsibility to protect fans by supplying them with the right information and tips to avoid purchasing products of inferior quality,” she added.
Raymond Parmer Jr, special agent in charge of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New Orleans, added: “We would encourage all fans to heed the tips provided to ensure they are not purchasing fraudulent merchandise.
“HSI is committed to protecting fans and the American economy from counterfeiters seeking to illegally profit from this great event.”
In December last year, WIPR’s sister site TBO reported that NBA and Major League Baseball filed a trademark infringement suit against unidentified online counterfeiters.
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The National Basketball Association, sports, New Orleans, 2017 NBA All-Star Game, counterfeits, Ayala Deutsch, Raymond Parmer Jr, HSI, ICE,