Tuesday 03 June 2014
The Premier League will launch the Football Against Fakes campaign at an event at Wembley Stadium today to highlight the issue of counterfeiting within the football industry.
"Many fans find themselves unwillingly purchasing goods which they believe to be real"
As well as Premier League officials, representatives from clubs, the FA, sports brands including Nike, and enforcement officials from across the country will be in attendance. The event will provide an opportunity to share knowledge, build relationships and ultimately stimulate the increased seizures of counterfeit merchandise.
In the last three years, the Premier League has seized over 300,000 items of fake merchandise worth £4.3m. This is separate to the clubs' and kit manufacturers' own seizures. With the continued popularity of the Barclays Premier League and the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup, football clubs and their partners will continue to be targeted and exploited by counterfeiters.
The conference will include exhibits from Premier League clubs demonstrating the difference between their official merchandise and counterfeit goods, presentations from industry experts as well as the chance for clubs, commercial partners, and kit manufacturers to exhibit and engage with counterfeit enforcement officers.
"The desire by supporters to display their allegiance to their favourite team makes our clubs much-targeted brands for exploitation by counterfeiters," said Richard Masters, the Premier League's Director of Sales and Marketing. "Many fans find themselves unwillingly purchasing goods which they believe to be real.
"The sale of counterfeit goods doesn't just take advantage of our loyal fans; it threatens the competitiveness of our clubs, the livelihoods of British workers, and in some instances, the health and safety of consumers."
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fyfe, Head of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), said. "The PIPCU is the UK's only specialist police unit dedicated to tackling intellectual property crime. Along with our partners, including the Premier League, we are working to combat the issue of counterfeiting to protect UK businesses and those unsuspecting consumers who fall victim to counterfeit fraud."