Today we are going to look the stigma of NHL jerseys and the fact that there in a crowd, you can see hundreds and hundreds of counterfeit jerseys.
To most, you can’t tell what they are but if you are a jersey buyer and actually want to support the team and player(s), it would be best to buy from official jersey suppliers.
For an example of a counterfeit jerseys, take a look the this Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Paul Kariya.
The biggest giveaway on how this is a counterfeit jersey is they way the nameplate on the jersey looks and how the number has a bubble look to it. The third giveaway is the center logo is not the size it should be.
This is how the jersey should look like from when it was made available for purchase.
Here is an example of a NEW Philadelphia Flyers Stadium Series jersey and everything with is completely off.
The name plate is not even and the last name colouring is not the same as on the jersey.
The Stadium Series jersey logo patch is also too bubble looking
Another giveaway that this is a knockoff jersey that little adidas logo on the front left side of the jersey toward the end of it. That was a project that was abandoned by adidas and the NHL after the end of last season. The logo had a little chip in it that would give fans locker room access for players and teams.
Compare the knockoff Flyers Stadium Series jersey to the one that is on the NHL’s official shop site.
The biggest problem with the counterfeit jersey market is that most of them are coming in from China and with any of the counterfeit jerseys that are purchased whether they are NHL jerseys, NFL, NBA, MLB, and any other team jersey, it is a direct Intellectual Property theft. When you don’t buy from the official team stores, sites, and official league sites, it is a cut the league, teams, and players don’t get from the merchandise.
Although it is not officially a reason as to counterfeit jerseys, the rise in NHL jersey prices has been quite drastic over the last decade or so. When the launch of the Reebok NHL jerseys happened, you could get a blank team jersey for $100 and a player jersey for about $150-$170. Then about three years later, the blank jerseys would be $125-$140, depending on if it was a speciality jersey for the Winter Classic, Heritage Classic, and/or Stadium Series jerseys. The player jerseys would then rise to $170-$190.
Then comes the current adidas run. For a blank jersey now, the team blank jersey goes for $180-$190, depending on if it is for the Stadium Series or Winter Classic. A player jersey $225-$230 depending on league events. There is still the option for personalization on jerseys through the NHL Shop site as well as CoolHockey.com for $250 on the NHL Shop site and about $250-$280 on the CoolHockey site (they currently have a deal on free customization).
What is new with the adidas deal is that they also partnered with Fanatics to provide a cheaper alternate for the team jersey.
Personally, I am not a fan of the Fanatics versions because the nameplate, the numbers on the arms and back of the jersey, as well as the logos on the jersey are all a flimsy material that looks like it heat-pressed on. I understand why some people like this version seeing as it is a bit cheaper and a bit more lightweight.
I know most people out there can’t tell a difference between a counterfeit jersey and the official jersey in a crowd but for me as a jersey collector, it really bothers me that people will not buy the official deal because they want to save money. When I buy jerseys, no matter what it is, I buy the official deal from team and/or league sites.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have also provided an excellent article that I recommend reading about the counterfeit jerseys and they also have provided a key on how they can determine a counterfeit jersey from the official team jerseys. To see this article please go here.
So once again, ladies and gentleman, if you are going to buy NHL jerseys, please buy the official jerseys from the NHL Shop site, team sites and official team store, or CoolHockey.com. They provide the legitimate product and you support the team, the players, and the league when you purchase the legitimate product and not buying from a third party. Just remember that when you buy from a Chinese website, you are participating and supporting that business to keep going and effectively hurting the league.
If you ever need a question on how to determine a counterfeit jersey, feel free to leave a comment and if not, you can always reference the Toronto Maple Leafs Counterfeit Jersey guide.