This topic was on the rise ever since major brands started taking interest in sponsoring and outfitting successful teams and popular athletes. Every year as professional sports requires more and more technology involved in producing performance apparel, consumers are faced with expanding array of options to support their team or sports hero. While there might be variety in definitions for different sports, we are offering information related to soccer (or football for European reader) gear.
Authentic jersey – official copy of jersey worn by athlete or team on the field, with exception of name, number or other personal distinctive insignia. It’s produced by the same manufacturer, of the same material, cut, with same sponsors, team or club logos embroidered or otherwise applied. Usually the most pricey option.
Replica jersey – official replica of the authentic jersey, produced under license by the same manufacturer as authentic jersey. Very slight variations from authentic jersey may include different fabric, different methods of logo application, and other small changes. Overall look and feel of the replica jersey is very close to authentic which allows sports fans and jersey collectors to keep up with constantly changing official teamwear without breaking the bank.
Fanwear – although replicating official club or team jersey is a fraudulent activity and product of such activity is called a knock-off, creating and selling fanwear of club or team is not against the law. Fanwear manufacturers have a license to produce a certain line of products featuring team name and sometimes logo. These products never resemble official authentic or replica jersey or any other apparel produced by the manufacturer of team jerseys.
Knock-offs – just like every soccer fanatic thinks himself coach, referee and striker at once during FIFA World Cup, every convenience store, souvenir booth, gas station and street corner becomes a soccer shop. However, in order to sell licensed jerseys you need dealer’s credentials, and since those are not readily available, those enthusiastic enterprises are peddling counterfeit product. Although some of these items do resemble official jerseys looks-wise, it would probably last until first wash, after which it would serve well to wipe a car or for other household needs.
We hope this little advice will help you make an informed choice. Showdown Sports only carries first three of the listed above categories. Our Authentic, Replica Jerseys and Fan wear is available online up to 50% off and we offer free ground shipping in Canada and continental USA on orders over CAD $200.
Enjoy World Cup 2010 and may the best team win!