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 the 2002 World Cup held in South Korea and Japan, more than 3 million World Cup counterfeit goods were seized before and during the tournament.

Source: International Authentication Association, “World Cup fakes war could be won with penalties,” Counterfeiting Confidential, April 2010.

In South Africa, site of the 2010 World Cup, $13 Million of counterfeit jerseys were seized by authorities in the first 5 months of 2010.

Source: AFP, “Fake World Cup jerseys hit S.African streets,” Independent, May 11, 2010.

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that more than 4,000 pieces of counterfeit NBA goods worth an estimated $200,000 was seized during the NBA All-Star Weekend in Dallas, Texas.

Source:  Associated Press, “Nearly $200,000 in fake NBA gear seized,” NBC Sports, February 15, 2010.


The United States Immigration and Custom Enforcement reported that in the month leading up to the 2010 Super Bowl in South Florida, agents seized 8,165 counterfeit Super Bowl goods worth an estimated $400,000.

Source:  Michael David Smith, “Feds seize $400,000 in counterfeit Super Bowl memorabilia,” Pro Football Talk, February 18, 2010.

At the 2009 Super Bowl in Tampa, US Customs seized 15,653 counterfeit goods items worth $1,826,562.

At the 2008 Super Bowl in Arizona, US Customs seized 10,212 counterfeit goods items worth $542,120.

See all data on the replica clothing industry here.

Source: Megan Chuchmach, “Super Bowl Fans: Watch Out for Counterfeit NFL Goods,” ABC News, February 5, 2010.

250,000 counterfeit clothing articles were seized by sports apparel maker Columbia Sportswear in 2005.

Source: Laura Palotie and Alexandra Zendrian, “Attack of the $35 Gucci Handbag,” INC, April 29, 2008.

In 2007, Major League Baseball discovered 3,000 incidents of illegal live-streaming of its games over the Internet.

In 2008, over 5,000 incidents of Internet piracy were discovered by Major League Baseball.


Acushnet, maker of the Titleist Golf Balls, spends more than $2 Million a year on combatting counterfeit goods.

Between January and August of 2008, the company shut down over 10,500 Internet auctions of counterfeit golf balls bearing its logo.


New Era, makers of the Official Major League Baseball caps, spends $1.5 Million a year on its anti-counterfeiting operations.

In 2008, the companies was shutting down between 2,000 to 4,000 Internet auctions every week because of the sites were selling counterfeit baseball caps.

In the first half of 2008, 176, 453 counterfeit caps were seized worth a street value of over $7 Million.


The Counterfeit Sports Memorabilia and Equipment market consists of two separate but related industries. The Counterfeit Sports Memorabilia market consists of products that claim to be team or player products but are not authentic. Counterfeit Sports Equipment products are items that are sold under brand names without the authority of the copyright holders.

50 percent of the $1 billion sports memorabilia industry is counterfeited.