Match the player with the sport. Spend a little time on the Mitchell & Ness website so you know which players are not represented within the jersey-maker's collections. Question a Michael Jordan football jersey, for example. Verify team colors so you can determine whether a jersey being marketed as Joe Namath’s New York Jets road shirt is the real thing.
Inspect tackle twill numbers and letters on jerseys. Notice the distinction between patches that are sewn on and screened so you can differentiate between the real thing and a knock off. Identify, for example, a Randall Cunningham jersey worn for a 1992 home game that’s “the real deal” 'cause it has screened numbers and team logos – they’re not sewn on. Use “jock tags” as criteria for legitimacy, too; older Mitchell & Ness jerseys sport four tags, not three. Seek further proof by examining holograms -- if they look weird, the jersey may not be authentic.
Make your vendor accountable. Purchase your Mitchell & Ness jersey from a respectable retailer or an online boutique and feel confident you've got the real thing. Navigate auction sites and your chances of being scammed improve. Consider an M & N jersey too-good-to-be true if comes your way courtesy of a big pushcart at a street fair, too. Verify sellers’ reputations, and ask for and compare the dimensions of garments as the knock-off kings tend to cut jerseys small to save fabric. Reach for your wallet to snare that $20 jersey only after you recall your mom's words about no free lunches.
Count on the unique Mitchell & Ness anti-counterfeiting program to back you up. Turn to personnel at the company to verify the legitimacy of a jersey you’ve got your heart set on. M & N goes the extra mile to protect consumers by affiliating with GenuOne, a software company that goes all CSI when it’s time to sleuth out knockoffs. "Anytime the name 'Michael Jordan' and Mitchell & Ness appear in an eBay auction, it's automatically counterfeit. We have no rights to Michael Jordan," warns the company president. Take him at his word; 135,000 counterfeit auctions were shut down in 2003 and 2004 and the beat goes on. Protect yourself and your cash so folks ripping off jersey licenses look elsewhere for people to victimize!
Mitchell & Ness is all about vintage so if you conclude that the art on a jersey looks a little too modern to be considered retro, your instincts are likely right on.
Report counterfeit merchandise to your state's attorney's office so lawyers can pursue intellectual property infringement charges against knock-off artists.