Not Real, Not Spectacular: Feds Intercept Counterfeit Winter Classic Merchandise
Through the work of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), working in concert with the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) – that’s a lot of initials – agents have seized and confiscated 792 counterfeit items headed for Pittsburgh worth an estimated $100,000. The seized items included National Hockey League jerseys, apparel and memorabilia, as well as some NFL jerseys and other assorted merchandise. The agencies stepped up their efforts to halt importing of counterfeit merchandise in advance of the NHL Winter Classic between the Penguins and Capitals on New Year’s Day.
The jerseys, hats, T-shirts and other souvenirs were confiscated by agents in the last month as they came into Pittsburgh through various international mail facilities. Although most of the seized items were purporting to be NHL merchandise, agents also seized counterfeit NFL jerseys and fake Ugg boots and counterfeits of brand name shoes, purses and apparel. The seizures are part of a crackdown on intellectual property rights (IPR) violations in the Pittsburgh area as it prepares for the New Year’s Day hockey game.
No! For all that is holy and in the name of Tom Brady! Not fake Uggs! These counterfeiters are freaking animals! Unscrupulous entrepreneurs, even!
“Around every major sports event in this country, these unscrupulous entrepreneurs take advantage of fan fever to sell the whole range of products bearing the trademark and names of the teams involved,” said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Philadelphia. “They use inferior materials to pump out look-alikes that do not benefit the teams, the players or the associations that have trademarked these goods. Counterfeiting hurts the consumer, it hurts business and it costs American jobs.”
Inferior materials to pump out fake look-alikes? Now I can be snarky as they come, but is that any way to refer to the Toronto Maple Leafs?
Be that as it may, it is unbelievable that someone would attempt to personally profit off such a wonderful event like the Winter Classic by schilling counterfeit merchandise. I will tell you this: if my Sidney Crosby Lip Balm turns out to be fake merchandise proffered up by maniacal, money-grubbing, counterfeiting charlatans, I won’t know what to believe in anymore.
Fake Winter Classic Gear Busted! [WKBW-TV]