PHOENIX – Arizona Diamondbacks merchandise is flying off the shelves with the World Series now in the state, but fans should beware of counterfeit merch, according to government agencies.
The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center is warning fans to be wary of team merch that isn’t legitimate. The center enforces intellectual property law in the U.S. and works closely with major sports organizations to protect consumers from scams.
“We think fans deserve only high-quality, officially licensed merchandise, so we’re partnering with federal, state, and local authorities as well as MLB to reduce the illegal importation and sale of counterfeit sports apparel and entertainment products,” said Jim Mancuso, IPR Center director, in a statement released Monday.
According to the IPR Center, in 2022 authorities seized over 180,000 counterfeit sports items worth an estimated $22.7 million. The center said there are ways fans can spot and avoid counterfeit merchandise.
In the press release, the IPR Center encouraged fans to look out for official Major League Baseball holograms placed on products to verify their authenticity. Additionally, fans should only shop at MLB-authorized retailers, including Chase Field, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Lids and MLBShop.com.
The Arizona Attorney General’s Office issued a similar warning last week about ticket sales and encouraged fans to be wary of third-party resale sites when purchasing tickets or souvenirs. If fans believe they have experienced consumer fraud, they can file a complaint with the attorney general’s office online.
According to an MLB spokesperson, sales of Diamondbacks goods on MLBShop.com are up over 100% from last year, as fans show their support for the team.
“I did get my hat and I did get my T-shirt and I’m ready to go,” said Linda Bower, a Diamondbacks fan who stopped by the team shop at Chase Field last week after the team clinched a bid to the World Series.
Ryan Polosky, senior community marketing manager with Dick’s Sporting Goods, said Valley stores are keeping up with the demand and getting new shipments of merchandise every day.
“The demands have been high; our store traffic has been great,” Polosky said. “With the excitement leading around the World Series and every game that they (the Diamondbacks) win, it’s been increasing.”
Polosky said that fans can expect World Series merch at Dick’s stores throughout the series and can expect even more if the Diamondbacks win the whole thing. He said that merchandise will be available the night of a potential win, and that stores will stay open late and open early to accommodate fans looking to get their hands on swag.
“It’s such a great accomplishment to make it to the World Series, but if you’re fortunate enough to win the World Series, that merchandise is even more commemorative in the fans’ eyes, and I think the demand will even go up,” Polosky said. “Obviously we’ve just seen a great support system in the city of Phoenix and the community rally around the Diamondbacks.”