The Day Counterfeit Jerseys Saved Soccer

from the fake-it-until-you-make-it dept

While it’s calmed down some, there was a great deal of talk about the horrific dangers of counterfeit products during the SOPA and ACTA campaigns. For some reason, professional sports jersey knockoffs in particular seem to get IP holders knickerbockers in a twist, resulting in fun little American traditions like the annual pre-Super Bowl website takedown bonanza. Now, we’ve discussed before why knockoffs generally aren’t a major threat to legitimate apparel producers, or the sports leagues, but this is not one of those posts. Instead, this is the story of how knockoff jerseys saved soccer, or futbol if you’re one of those people who wants to kick us Americans in our guardless shins over that kind of thing.

Down in Colombia, visiting soccer (futbol, whatever) team Independiente Santa Fe took a break from having a cool-sounding name to play a soccer (okay, futbol) match against Boyaca Chico. Now, here’s a lesson for all of us that sucked too hard at the sport to play and had to be team managers: double check your damned luggage. See, whoever was in charge of bringing ISF’s “away” uniforms on the trip took a nap instead, leaving the team with only their warmups and numbers taped to their backs. As it turns out, Colombia’s climate closely resembles a sauna and the Macgyver-inspired unis weren’t cutting it. There was talk of aborting the game entirely, because Boyaca Chico refused to allow their adversaries to wear their home uniforms, until:

A Santa Fe staffer ran outside the stadium and bought counterfeits from vendors for about $6 each, then used red marker to write the numbers on the back of the shirts. Santa Fe took the pitch to start the second half donning their own team’s fake jerseys, but still went on to drub Boyacá Chicó, 2-0. This concludes our daily reminder to not be a dick.

Meaning that the great Colombian fake-jersey industry not only saved the match for the fans at the stadium, but also taught the home team a valuable lesson: karma is a bitch and it wears a $6 uniform. So thank you, counterfeit jersey sellers, for filling in the gaps where sports team logistics fails. And fair thee well until February, when the NFL will be sending the feds to kick down your doors.

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Comments on “The Day Counterfeit Jerseys Saved Soccer”

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crade (profile) says:

Re: Saved soccer? Down with counterfeit jerseys for SURE, then.

Was that supposed to actually make sense? Are you saying you can’t understand sports and only see chaotic movement when watching them? Are you saying soccer players don’t get rich or that they are smarter and less brutish than other professional sports players? Your post is making less sense than usual.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Saved soccer? Down with counterfeit jerseys for SURE, then.

Are you saying you can’t understand sports and only see chaotic movement when watching them?

This is how I feel whenever I watch football, even with my wife there to explain everything. I understand the basics of the game, but there are apparently a gazillion little silly rules that render the basic understanding meaningless, as whenever I watch, the other people often cheer or jeer at apparently random points during the game, leaving me to constantly wonder what the hell is happening.

Anonymous Coward says:

As anyone from the Intellectual Protectionism industry will tell you, hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage are done with every counterfeit or illegal sale/copy of a work distributed. Although the team might only pay a few hundred dollars for each jersey, through the advanced measurements of IP economics they have now done easily in excess of $3.6 million in damage. Or rather, their designated representative did that. I look forward to the international manhunt for these brazen thieves, and that their multi-million dollar caper is properly prosecuted.

Shame, soccer team, shame. You should have patronized an authorized outlet for your gear. As everyone knows, legal options are available for any possible purchase, and it’s the duty of the consumer to seek them out. I’m sure that if the team had made the effort, they could have secured legitimate outfits overnight.

Jotunbane says:

The reason Europeans find the American version of football a little odd is that (1) You don’t play it with your feet, and (2) That there is not really a ball is it.

If anything, the American version should be called “hand-egg”.

Oh, and while we are at it, why do you call your best team for “world champions” when they don’t play ANYBODY besides other US teams. Arrogant much??

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The reason the WORLD finds American “football (Gridiron) WEIRD! is that there are two teams per side – what they cant figure out how to play offense AND defense at once???

and that they are nancy boys dressed in armour who cant understand that playing real sports (Soccer, Rugby League/Union) takes guts and no crying to mummy for a booboo hurty on their knee.. Muwahahahaha

I’ll run now

Not an Electronic Rodent (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

is that there are two teams per side

From a brief foray watching the edited highlights (read: “the bits where they actually do stuff) when they started showing it over here years ago (meaning a match only took about an hour to watch instead of 3…), I’d kinda understood there are 3 or 4 teams per side? Isn’t there yet another special kicking team or something?

and that they are nancy boys dressed in armour who cant understand that playing real sports (Soccer, Rugby League/Union)

Well I suppose that could be an extension to the old saying:
Football: A gentlemen’s game played by thugs.
Rugby: A thugs’ game played by gentlemen.
American football: A commercial game played by big wusses in armour

Then there’s Australian Rules Football….

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s just a different game. Not better or worse but different. The positions are specialized where the players develop specific skills. It focuses more on the setup and execution of specific planned actions rather than the dealing with a constantly changing situation. It’s more of a chess match than a free for all. Also, because players are positioned in such a manner that directly opposing forces are pitted against each other in a violent conflict so much more frequently the level of protection needed is much greater to avoid catastrophic injuries. The players also didn’t always wear that much protection and due to the frequency of injuries the sport was once almost banned.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Oh, and while we are at it, why do you call your best team for “world champions” when they don’t play ANYBODY besides other US teams. Arrogant much??”

That is because few other countries play the sport (other than Canada) I can’t think of any. There have in recent years been efforts by the NFL to introduce the sport to Europe through an alternate league but those teams are mainly more like minor league teams for the major NFL franchises. If the sport takes off there perhaps in the future you could see a new World Championship played between a European team and an American team. After all, that is how the Superbowl originated in the first place. Two separate leagues, the AFL and NFL each putting their top teams against each other to determine one champion. It’s just that they later combined to be under one entity.

Anonymous Coward says:

but this is exactly why the knock-offs have to be stopped! some also ran made a tiny bit of money that day. the true vendor with the official shirts back in whereever that couldn’t sell anything because the game wasn’t being played where he was, didn’t make anything!
how dare anyone else make next to fuck all instead of the official making a fortune!
when will car parts be stopped? people can easily afford to pay the 500% or more for a genuine muffler, rather than use that money to buy a knock off muffler AND SOMETHING ELSE THAT HELPS KEEP THE ECONOMY GOING! fucking morons! unbelievable!

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