In a recent competition we asked fans to tell us if a range of Football Club Merchandise was ‘Fake’ or ‘Real’ – to which we saw over 8,000 responses. The results showed overall that a staggering 30% of fans asked could not spot a counterfeit product from official merchandise.
As well as protecting Football Clubs and other brands across the UK, our job is to educate so that you can buy more wisely and save yourself time, money and misery (the moment you realise how poor a fake product is!).
Here are some takeaways from the ‘Fake’ Vs ‘Real’ Competition:
1. Labels, Swing Tags and Holograms
Official club product will always bear one or a combination of, branded presentation and care labels and swing tags – featuring the club badge and club colours. Many clubs (although not all) will also have a hologram applied to the packaging or swing tag too.
Only 54% of you thought this West Ham United T-shirt was genuine
Only 60% of you thought this was a Fake
The majority of counterfeit football product we see do not bear any club branded packaging, labels, swing tags or holograms.
2. The Premier League – Do’s and Don’ts
Did you know the Premier League don’t currently produce any merchandise of their own? So, these products were clear counterfeit.
You will not find the use of Premier League marks accompanying any club Packaging. These tend to be added by Chinese manufacturers to add authenticity, but in fact this does the opposite and is a great indicator of a fake.
3. Up in Smoke
Manchester United is the only Premier League club not to produce any smoking accessories or paraphernalia. You’ll also have noticed the word ‘United’ has been misspelt in the club badge and the colour used on the product isn’t one consistently associated with the club.
95% of you knew this lighter was counterfeit but many entrants thought every club had banned smoking paraphernalia, which is not the case
4. Tackling Club Kit Fakes
Official club kit should always bear the official kit manufacturer and the football club marks.
95% of you knew this Chelsea shirt was a fake
5. A Pig in Wolf’s Clothing
There are no Football club collaborations with cartoon/film characters.
12% of you thought Peppa Pig may be a Wolves fan
6. Don’t get Stitched Up
No clubs offer sew-on badges or patches. Why would they? This would be counterproductive as clubs would struggle to justify the sale of their own official clothing, as people could simply buy the patches and apply it to garments themselves.
82% of you knew this product was a fake
7. No Clubbing Together
It is very unusual for clubs to produce merchandise together, especially for those clubs with historical or intense rivalries.
97% of you knew this product was a fake
8. Trust Your Instincts
Sometimes a fake is obvious – like the Bournemouth bucket hat, where the print of the club badge is of poor quality.
Nearly 100% of respondents knew this item was a fake
We’re glad you spotted this as an obvious counterfeit but it’s not always that easy, as our results show. Throughout our blog we’ll be updating you on how to spot fakes and the associated dangers. We’ll provide tips and tricks to help you make the right buying decisions and to understand more about the world of counterfeits.