With basketball fans from around the world heading to New Orleans for NBA All-Star 2017 (Feb. 17-19), the National Basketball Association (NBA) has cautioned unsuspecting fans against counterfeiters attempting to sell unauthorized and poorly made knock-off merchandise.
Counterfeiters not only victimize legitimate, tax-paying retailers in the New Orleans area, but they also take advantage of basketball fans who believe they are purchasing authentic NBA gear. Counterfeiters target major events, such as NBA All-Star, where fans are eager to take home a memorable keepsake.
“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,” said NBA Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Ayala Deutsch. “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.”
The NBA has a comprehensive anti-counterfeiting program to protect fans looking to purchase authentic NBA merchandise, including the official NBA hologram that is affixed to all authentic NBA products. To avoid being victimized by counterfeiters, the league urges basketball fans to:
- Look for the hologram sticker or holographic hangtag and a sewn-in or screen-printed label identifying the name of the NBA licensee (e.g., adidas, Stance, Mitchell & Ness)
- Shop at NBA-authorized retail locations, such as the NBA Store – A Fanatics Experience with locations at the Smoothie King Center, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, Royal Sonesta New Orleans and InterContinental New Orleans – rather than buying items from street vendors, flea markets, or other questionable sources
- Shop online at com
- Beware of ripped tags or irregular markings on apparel
The NBA is working closely with federal, state and local law enforcement officials, who will be enforcing laws prohibiting the sale of counterfeit merchandise and unauthorized vending throughout NBA All-Star. According to a 2013 INTA/BASCAP study done by Frontier Economics, the estimated value of international and domestic trade in counterfeits and pirated goods was between $710 billion and $970 billion globally per year and is directly responsible for the loss of more than 2 million jobs per year.
“At a major, high-traffic sporting event like NBA All-Star here in New Orleans, our collaboration with the NBA is crucial to preventing counterfeiters from preying on unsuspecting fans,” said Raymond R. Parmer Jr., Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations New Orleans. “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. We must remember that counterfeiting is not a victimless crime; it costs U.S. businesses billions of dollars each year while severely impacting American jobs.”
Since 1992, the NBA – through its membership in the Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports logos (CAPS) – has been involved in the seizure of more than 11.2 million pieces of counterfeit merchandise featuring the logos of various pro sports leagues, teams, colleges, and universities – valued at more than $425 million.
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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 www.capsinfo.com.
About NBA All-Star 2017
NBA All-Star 2017 in New Orleans will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league’s history for a global celebration of the game. The 66th NBA All-Star Game, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19 at Smoothie King Center, will reach fans in 215 countries and territories in 49 languages. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for the 15th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 32nd year of NBA All-Star coverage. Smoothie King Center will also host the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 17 and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Saturday, Feb. 18. The NBA All-Star Practice, NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and NBA Development League All-Star Game presented by Kumho Tire will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.