Are They Real or Fake?

This Sunday, the Dallas Mavericks will host the 2010 NBA All-Star game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Admittedly, I’m not a huge NBA fan. I hear a lot about the Phoenix Suns on sports talk radio because of where I live, and I follow the Denver Nuggets because they have my favorite player, Carmelo Anthony. So normally, the All-Star Game might slip by me relatively unnoticed, especially since I’m running a half-marathon that day, and it’s every woman’s favorite holiday – Valentine’s Day!

But today I received a press release from a large PR firm. It’s not clear who exactly commissioned the press release, but I’m guessing it is a group called ‘the Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports logos.’ After reading the press release, it really made me wonder if sports fans care about this age-old question: Are they real, or are they fake? (Merchandise, that is).

The press release attempts to ‘separate facts from fiction.’ Some of the fictions include statements like ‘counterfeiting isn’t that big of a problem’ and ‘people don’t sell counterfeits in North Texas.’ The facts given are that businesses lose $600-700 billion (yes, billion) annually due to counterfeiting and that innocent buyers get scammed by this inaccurate and often poorly made merchandise.

So my questions for all of you are:

  • If you went to an event like the All-Star Game, are you concerned with whether the merchandise is official or not?
  • Do you look for the hologram on the tag?
  • Do you double-check the spelling of all the names and logos?
  • Are you concerned with the exact colors of the logos?
  • Or does the lure of 2 shirts for $15 override any of those issues?

At times I’ve been worried only about getting a good deal. Other times, the event or team involved has been important enough to me to make sure I have the official merchandise. What do you think?