PITTSBURGH, May 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As the puck drops for the National Hockey League's 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference and Western Conference Finals this week, Pittsburgh fans are eager to show their support by purchasing Penguins gear. With passions running high, the NHL wants to help protect fans from being duped by counterfeiters during the Penguins' playoff run.
The League cautions that unsuspecting fans eager to commemorate this special event may be targeted by bootleggers attempting to sell unauthorized and poorly produced knock-off merchandise.
"The Stanley Cup Playoffs are prime time for counterfeiters to 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 protect fans looking to purchase genuine NHL jerseys and merchandise. Most important is the NHL hologram that is affixed to all officially-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 PensGear Team Store or Shop.NHL.com, 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.
"We want consumers to remember that everyone is at risk of falling victim to counterfeiters," Prochnow said. "Fans purchase sports memorabilia to highlight special moments in time and to become a part of the sports experience. They expect merchandise to last a lifetime; 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 Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC), counterfeiting is estimated to cost U.S. businesses $200 - 250 million annually and is directly responsible for the loss of more than 750,000 American jobs per year.
Last year, during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, working closely with law enforcement, the NHL was involved in the seizure of more than 3,000 pieces of counterfeit NHL merchandise with a retail value of more than $140,000. 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 million pieces of counterfeit merchandise featuring the logos of various pro sports leagues, teams, colleges, and universities – valued at more than $369 million.
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.
Contact to Arrange Interview or for More Information:
Angie Taylor, Weber Shandwick
SOURCE The Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports logos