Sports and Apparel

Online Protection for Sports Brands

Countering online counterfeit selling, brand imitation, and diversion.

Sports brands are more online than ever. Digital expands the playing field for selling products and connecting with fans. But online presence and identity also bring risks.

Sport has embraced all things online. As leagues, teams, and apparel brands have built global followings, the fan experience has become increasingly digital. Leagues and clubs engage their loyal fanbases with digital content and e-commerce. Online stores and media channels are prime outlets, and virtual products, notably non-fungible tokens (NFTs), have been adopted to connect fans to their teams, idols, and memorable sporting moments.

Sport has embraced all things online and so have its fans – only around 1% of them will attend a professional game in person, so online presence is ever more critical.

It is the same game for sports apparel. Nike saw online revenues triple since 2019, 70% of sales at Castore come from their website, and Adidas made $22 million from NFT sales in one afternoon. Sport has always had heroes, and young fans in particular value individual icons. 76% of them follow online influencers and this generation is four times as likely as others to watch sports content unrelated to a game, keeping sports brands front of mind.

Online exposure brings risks for sports brands, for their assets, products, and identities.

Digital makes it harder to ensure products are sold via authorized channels and online marketplaces help fakes flourish. The trusted status of sports brands can also make them targets for fraud, enticing consumers into fake competitions or other scams. Infringers cybersquat on familiar domain names and hijack search keywords to drive traffic to their websites.

OpSec offers a comprehensive defense against online counterfeits and imitation.

  • Countering online counterfeit selling and trade diversion.
    OpSec constantly monitors millions of data points to find infringements across online marketplaces, social media platforms, paid ads, and mobile apps. We uncover counterfeits and other abuses of brand assets, including imitation of legitimate sellers and search engine ads that redirect to counterfeits. Digital product identities and product traceability help monitor distribution to detect and respond to diversion.

  • Fighting online brand impersonation and fraud.
    OpSec uncovers brand impersonation and fraud across a range of online channels. We detect misuse of branded assets, infringing adverts, and cybersquatted domains. An Early Warning System brings timely focus to fraudulent threats. Since speed is of the essence, we staff a 24 x 7 Security Operations Center. We also ingest data feeds from multiple partners to ensure that our fraud intelligence is second to none.

  • Tackling infringing non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
    Unauthorized NFTs infringe on brand IP, confuse fans and consumers, and harm official NFT drops. OpSec has been protecting against unauthorized NFTs for brands since early 2021. By combining textual and visual AI, we can discover a wider range of infringing NFTs across leading NFT marketplaces. OpSec has typically achieved an exceptional takedown rate of around 90% on behalf of our customers.

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