Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Stealing from the Steelers
The SuperBowl isn't just a great opportunity for advertisers ... it's an irresistable opportunity for brand pirates. Merchandise bearing team logos, such as the Steeler's "Terrible Towel" was widely counterfeit following the SuperBowl. The quality is indeed terrible, the colors run, the products shrink ... and worst, the charitable recipients of the Steelers largesse (a school for retarded adults and children) doesn't receive a penny.

Licensed products are easily counterfeited, and difficult for licensees to control. For example, $6M of unofficial NFL gear was confiscated in 2005 - but the true size of the problem is unknown.

Until license-owners adopt simple ways for consumers to know if they're buying the real thing, and their dollar is supporting their teams and good causes ... the stealing will continue.