The NFL looks to sack shady sites

The National Football League is well aware of the impact that rogue websites have on the fan experience, and has a plan to tackle this problem.

Professional football is arguably the most popular sport in the United States. More than 100 million people watched the Ravens beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl last year, and sales of NFL apparel and merchandise topped $13 billion in 2012.

That figure includes only official, licensed merchandise. It does not take into account cheap knockoff jerseys sold by rogue websites to fans who are looking for a bargain.

But the NFL – like Tom Brady spotting a zone blitz on the weak side – is keenly aware of these counterfeit sites. And members of the NFL legal team have succeeded in sacking thousands of these rogue websites through the use of a groundbreaking anti-counterfeiting strategy.

Sites that purport to sell “cheap jerseys” or ones that promise them from China or in bulk are in no way associated with the NFL, and fans who think they are getting a bargain from these deals are really ending up with a bust of Ryan Leaf-like proportions, with shoddy quality and little recourse if something is wrong. 

In order to address these counterfeiters, the NFL has developed a strategy that combines in-depth data and data intelligence to aid in its litigation. The league has also made adjustments – like Bill Belichick at halftime – to stay ahead of the rogue websites and their increasingly complex tactics and growing numbers. 

Anyone who is interested in this topic can sign up for a free webinar, “A Winning Strategy: How the NFL Tackles Rogue Websites,” taking place on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 1pm ET. The one-hour webinar will feature NFL legal team members Dolores F. DiBella, Associate Counsel, and Nancy Wygand, Sr. Trademark and Digital Rights Manager, who will share the secret of their success.

To learn more about the webinar or to register for the event, click here so you can learn how to launch a cover-2 defense against counterfeiters.

Managing Editor

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Rich Steeves

Richard P. Steeves is Managing Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he covers the intellectual property and compliance arenas. Rich earned a B.A. in English Literature...

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