Counterfeit Sports Memorabilia

News and information about counterfeit jerseys, fake autograph sales, and other counterfeit collectables and sports memorabilia. Data about the fakes are collected from criminal justice reports, industry officials and public information sources.

In 2011, over 60,000 replica clothing and apparel items featuring college athletic teams were seized by the Collegiate Licensing Company. The value of the counterfeit goods was worth over $1 Million.

The company also reported that nearly 5,000 pieces of counterfeit goods such as shirts and hats are seized each year outside the stadium where the BCS Championship game is played.

Revenue from licensed collegiate athletics generates $4.3 Billion a year for the schools.

Source: Kristi Dosh, “Cracking down on counterfeit apparel,” ESPN, SEC Blog, January 8, 2012.

In 2010, the Anti-Counterfeiting Group of the U.S Golf Manufacturers reported that 25,000 counterfeit golf equipment such as golf clubs, bags, shoes, and balls were seized in raids conducted across major cities in China.

In 2011, over 86,000 counterfeit golf equipment were seized over the course of 4 raids in the month of September alone.

(See the latest counterfeiting statistics.)

Source: Tony Dear, “Countering the Counterfeiters,” Cybergolf, accessed November 20, 2011.

The National Hockey League (NHL) has reported that the seizures of counterfeit jerseys of teams in the league has quadrupled between the 2008-2009 season and the 2011-2012 season.

In the first nine months of 2011, authorities seized a total of 3,200 jerseys.

Source: Sean Gordon, “Counterfeit: One of these jerseys costs $375 and the other costs $30,” Globe and Mail, November 4, 2011.


Major League Baseball seizes around 6oo,000 pieces of counterfeit items bearing the logo of baseball teams every year. The amount of counterfeit baseball merchandise increases in availability during the postseason.

Over a ten year span, Major League Baseball conducted 5,000 counterfeit goods seizures and enforcement actions.

(Additional counterfeit goods statistics.)

Source: Lisa Brown, “MLB goes on offensive against counterfeiters at World Series,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, October 21, 2011.

The 2011 Major League Baseball World Series had Game 1 held in the city of St. Louis, Missouri on October 19. During game 1 of the series, St. Louis police seized over 1,100 counterfeit shirts and caps throughout the city.

Source: “Counterfeit baseball merchandise seized,” KSDK, October 20, 2011.

An estimated 2 million counterfeit golf clubs are sold each year, according to the Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group.

Nearly 80 percent of the fake golf clubs seized over an 18-month period was made in China.

Counterfeit golf equipment losses are estimated to be  at $6.5 Billion a year.

Source: Matt Forman, “Buyer beware: Counterfeit golf clubs have become rampant,” Miami Herald, July 21, 2011.

US Customs and Border Patrol in Michigan seized 786 counterfeit golf equipment items in 2010. The number of counterfeits was higher than the 519 pieces of golf equipment seized in 2009.

Source: “‘Tis the season to golf. But beware of counterfeit golf gear!,” WXYZ, July 11, 2011.

Replica shoes and athletic footwear was the most seized counterfeit seizures by the United States Customs and Border Protection in Fiscal Year 2010. Fake shoes accounted for 24 percent of all seizures, with 94 percent of the shoes originating from China.

There were 4,338 seizures of counterfeit athletic and sports apparel in FY 2010 worth $18.7 Million. 75 percent of the fakes came from China.

Exercise equipment accounted for the 10th most seized item, with 594 seizures of counterfeit equipment during the fiscal year.

(See more information about the replica clothes market.)

Source: “Counterfeit Sporting Goods Seizures Up in 2010, White House Seeks Enhanced Seizure Authority,” Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, March 28, 2011.

According to a study by MarkMonitor, an estimated 800,000 counterfeit sports jerseys are sold online each year.

Websites that advertise counterfeit jerseys receive up to 56 million page visits per year, according to the study.

(More on Counterfeit Goods.)

Source: Nathan Rott, “Counterfeit Jerseys: Can You Tell The Difference?,” NPR, February 6, 2011.

Golf equipment manufacturers lose up to $6.5 Billion a year due to counterfeits.

Source: Josh Sens, “The $6 Billion Scam: Inside the Battle to Shut Down Golf’s Black Market,” Golf, June 25, 2010.