IPR Center, MLB warn Phoenix and Dallas fans of fake merchandise, tickets during 2023 World Series
October 30, 2023
“We think fans deserve only high-quality, officially licensed merchandise, so we’re partnering with federal, state, and local authorities as well as MLB to reduce the illegal importation and sale of counterfeit sports apparel and entertainment products,” said Jim Mancuso, IPR Center director.
Last year, authorities seized more than 180,000 counterfeit sports-related items worth an estimated $22.7 million through Operation Team Player, a collaborative public-private sector operation targeting international shipments of counterfeit merchandise into the United States with brand owners and e-commerce marketplaces.
MLB has a comprehensive anti-counterfeiting program, including official MLB holograms affixed to all officially licensed MLB products to protect fans looking to purchase genuine MLB merchandise. Counterfeiters target major events, such as the World Series, where fans are eager to take home memorable keepsakes.
To avoid being victimized by counterfeiters, HSI and MLB encourage fans to:
- Shop at MLB-authorized retail locations, such Globe Life Field, Chase Field, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Lids, and MLBShop.com, rather than street vendors, flea markets or other questionable sources.
- Look for the official MLB hologram sticker or holographic hangtag and a sewn-in or screen-printed label identifying the name of the MLB licensee (e.g., Nike, Fanatics, New Era Cap, ‘47, Mitchell & Ness).
- Check for ripped tags, irregular markings, or misspellings on apparel.
- Beware of vendors offering counterfeit paper tickets for sale. Only digital tickets will be issued to the 2023 MLB World Series in Texas and Arizona, and tickets should be purchased directly from Rangers.com, Dbacks.com, Tickets.com, SeatGeek, or MLB’s Official-Fan-to-Fan Marketplace.
Throughout this year’s World Series, the IPR Center is joining MLB in working closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners who will be enforcing laws prohibiting the sale of counterfeit MLB merchandise.
Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime. Trademark holder rights are violated, small businesses that purchase vendor licenses to sell official merchandise lose revenue, and consumers spend their hard-earned money on substandard products while exposing themselves to financial schemes.