Counterfeit kit: a fan’s own goal


Jeremy Summers

Counterfeit kit: a fan’s own goal

Dmytro Aksonov /

Buying counterfeit team strips removes valuable income from your club which, in some cases, will not come from elsewhere. It reduces the club’s ability to compete and may force a club to increase other sources of income—such as ticket prices, argues Jeremy Summers of Lewis Silkin.

According to a recently published report from  “The Economic Impacts of Counterfeiting and Piracy”, the negative effects of infringement are projected to drain $4.2 trillion from the global economy by 2022. The loss is calculated by looking not just at the value of goods, but also the wider socioeconomic impact. For example, the report suggests, by 2022, 5.4 million legitimate jobs would have been affected.

No industry is immune. Sports clubs, athletes and governing bodies face the same issues as many other brand-owning businesses. For example, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced that it seized more than 260,000 counterfeit sports-related items with an estimated value of $20 million. 

As part of its ‘Football against Fakes’ campaign launched in 2014,the UK Premier League revealed that in the 2014/5 season it had seized over 500,000 counterfeit items with an estimated value of £3.1 million ($3.8 million)—this does not include confiscations made by clubs and kit manufacturers directly.

Jeremy Summers, Lewis Silkin, Frontier Economics, trademark, counterfeit, fan merchandise, fake, Manchester United, counterfeit, ICE, UK Premier League,