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NBA warns fans of counterfeiters

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June 6, 2012 | 1,305 views | Post a comment

SAN ANTONIO -- As San Antonio basketball fans enjoy the Western Conference Finals showdown between the Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder, fans are riding to town in force and racing to purchase NBA Playoff merchandise. Counterfeiters will be ready, too, warns the National Basketball Association.

The league offers the following information to help protect consumers from becoming victims of counterfeiters themselves.

One myth is that it’s nearly impossible to identify a real product from a fake. In reality, however, fans can shop with caution and utilize the following guidelines to avoid being victimized. Consumers should 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 NBA to produce “genuine” or “official” merchandise. Another buying tip is to look out for ripped tags or irregular markings on apparel.

Counterfeits are notorious for inferior quality. Seized goods from past events have included outdated logos, ripped and poor quality embroidery, misspelled player names, cracked screen-printing, incorrect team colors, and materials that do not meet applicable safety standards. While some counterfeiters may attract fans with a low price tag or “2-for-1” deal, just as many try to legitimize their merchandise with a higher price point. Purchasing authorized league merchandise guarantees the quality and life of that souvenir, while also providing a reputable source for concerns, returns, and exchanges.

“Fans are the ones who get cheated when counterfeiters cheat the system and sell unofficial merchandise to unsuspecting customers,” said Ayala Deutsch of the NBA. “Counterfeit items often contain misspelled names or will shrink three sizes when you put it in the laundry.”

The San Antonio market is not immune to the counterfeiting problem, as counterfeiters not only take sales away from authorized retailers in the area, but also fail to pay taxes to support the community. The NBA Playoffs are projected to spur millions of dollars in direct spending into the San Antonio area, a number that is only negatively impacted by counterfeiters.

For more information, call the Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports logos (CAPS) at 1-800-TEL-CAPS (835-2277) or visit

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