Hockey Canada says it’s aggressively going after counterfeiters who are selling knockoffs of their jerseys online.
Dale Ptycia, Hockey Canada’s senior manager of licensing, told CityNews that the organization started warning the public on Twitter and Facebook last weekend about the knockoffs going for $20 a jersey. The authentic ones retail on authorized partner sites, such as Sportchek.ca and Prohockeylife.com, for $140 and the jerseys athletes wear on ice are about $450.
The counterfeiters, such as Shophockeycanada.com, are usually based in China, so Hockey Canada has had to turn this week to the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP). The group oversees domain names, but it will take some time to get a resolution.
Hockey Canada has also sent cease-and-desist letters to the offenders, Ptycia said.
The organization, which partnered with Nike Canada, officially launched the jerseys on Oct. 8, 2013, for the Winter Olympics and the Paralympics.
Staff members have also been monitoring secondary markets, such as eBay and Kijiji, as well as online portals for manufacturers, such as DHgate.com, Alibaba.com and AliExpress.com. There were more than 4,000 sites on those portals, selling counterfeit products and half of them have been shut down, Ptycia said.
He expects the remainder will be shuttered this weekend.
While Ptycia declined to say how many jerseys were produced and sold during these Olympics, he said that Hockey Canada estimated there were more than 35,000 counterfeit jerseys during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games and that of those, 17,000 were seized.
He estimated that six to eight out of every 10 jerseys could be counterfeit during these games.
“It’s the old adage of buyer beware,” he said. “If the deal seems too good to be true it probably is.”