Authored by: Normund Sladzevsky, Brand Protection Analyst | Incopro

The 2018 World Cup has seen numerous teams turning retro in football’s newest (old) trend

When countries competing at the World Cup started unveiling their tournament kits this latest trend became apparent with a number of stylish throwback strips being revealed. Companies creating these kits had spotted an opportunity; not only were fans purchasing them to show allegiance to their country, but there was a whole market of Instagram-snapping millennials who would don a retro kit to make a fashion statement. Even celebrities have been seen sporting them, meaning the worlds of football, fashion and pop culture have collided to create a hugely popular product.

A prime counterfeit target

This popularity created a large demand, which has inevitably made it a prime target for counterfeiters. At Incopro our curiosity was piqued, so our team of analysts monitored the emergence of these kits and compiled data on the number of counterfeits being produced. This task was undertaken utilising our specialist online analysis system, Talisman, with which we scanned over 200 online marketplaces for offers of fake retro kits.

Top 5 retro kits

From this research our analysts created a leaderboard of the top 5 most counterfeited retro jerseys at the tournament. Starting with fifth position on the leaderboard, a team whose shirts have garnered more attention and publicity than any other at the tournament, Nigeria. They may have been knocked out in heart-breaking fashion, but they did it in style and there is little doubt their 1994 inspired kit made them the sharpest looking team at the tournament. We found 1,230 offerings in over 200 marketplaces, which could represent an estimated 2.5 million jerseys.

Just ahead in 4th place are England’s vanquished Round of 16 foes, Colombia, with 4,053 fraudulent offerings and they slot in just behind Belgium who have 5,928. In second place is Spain with 11,164, and they fall short of the reigning world champions, Germany. Germany’s popularity far outperforming their insipid performances on the field and our technology found a mammoth 11,545 offerings, which could represent an estimated 25 million counterfeit jerseys online.

What it means?

Our analysis showed that all five of these teams have generated larger attention than they would have with regular, modern kits. Nowhere was this more evident than Nigeria selling out their kit within three days of launch. This provided a great example of how popular trends, in any industry, provide new targets for counterfeiters. Counterfeiters run highly sophisticated operations designed to rip off legitimate brands and they are quick to jump on any money-making opportunity.

Brands need to make sure they stay ahead of these illegitimate activities in an effective and diligent manner. Incopro represents over 450 brands in a wide range of industries, our technology is the best on the market and our team of passionate and highly trained analysts are ready to help your business fight off counterfeiting and infringement threats and stay safe online.

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If you would like to learn more about how Incopro helps protect against counterfeits, please contact us.