Like Clockwork, ICE Stops Sports Fans From Advertising Their Favorite Teams For Less Than Full Price

from the this-is-so-dumb dept

Two things that happen, like clockwork, every Super Bowl? Bogus completely fabricated claims that sex trafficking increases whereever the Super Bowl is held, and ICE making bullshit seizures of "counterfeit" sporting goods. This year, both Associated Press and the local Miami Herald ran bogus stories claiming that sex trafficking ramps up around the Super Bowl -- a claim that every single year is debunked and unproven. Reason always does a good job debunking those claims. so I'll just point you there for now.

On the "counterfeits" front, we've got a silly press release from ICE and plenty of news sources, like Fox News, gleefully cheering on the fact that fans won't be able to provide free advertising to their favorite sports teams without paying the monopoly price set by the NFL. We've covered just how messed up these ICE raids are in the past, but just as a refresher: it's completely fucked up that it's somehow illegal for people to make or sell unauthorized sports wear.

It used to not be this way. It used to be that if you made your own fan ware, sports teams actually liked the fact that you were advertising their brand to the world for free. And then some trademark lawyers came along and said "hey, but we could sell people the right to advertise our stuff for us" and began going to court to stop people from promoting their teams without first paying. An astounding number of people buy into this ridiculous myth -- but think about it: why should people have to pay monopoly prices to help advertise your sports team? It makes no sense at all.

What makes even less sense is the idea that ICE should be spending any time at all seizing goods that would allow fans to provide free advertising at slightly cheaper prices. How is this in the interest of Immigration & Customs Enforcement? I mean, if it means they're not rounding up and kicking out people who have lived here their whole lives, I guess I'd rather them wasting their time on this, but somehow I get the feeling it's not mutually exclusive. Anyway, the real bullshit here is that ICE -- which does this before every single major sporting event -- actually wants to pretend that it's somehow doing a good thing for the world, rather than doing this because they know every single news org wants some dumb story with a "big sports event" hook, and so they know they'll get press.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) announced Thursday the seizure of more than 176,000 counterfeit sports-related items, worth an estimated $123 million manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), through a collaborative enforcement operation targeting international shipments of counterfeit merchandise into the United States.

Also, note the $123 million. To their credit, at least the press release admits that that's the MSRP price. That's not the real price by any stretch of the imagination. ICE did not seize $123 million worth of goods. But, of course, the news reports leave out that detail, and just run with the $123 million number.

Even worse, ICE pretends that this is "protecting" fans, rather than actually fucking over the fans:

“Operation Team Player remains one of the most important national initiatives for protecting sports fans from the sale of counterfeit products and counterfeit tickets. The joint efforts of the NFL, the IPR Center, HSI, CBP, and Miami area law enforcement have helped ensure that Super Bowl LIV remains an authentic and outstanding experience for our fans,” said NFL Vice President of Legal Affairs, Dolores DiBella. “The NFL is committed to supporting these anti-counterfeiting and consumer protection measures, and extends its gratitude for the year-round support of law enforcement partners who drove the success of Operation Team Player.”

It's not consumer protection. You're just forcing your fans to pay more to give you advertising. Meanwhile, reports have the NFL making somewhere in the range of $15 billion last year (some say the number is even higher). Why are they having to use your tax dollars to force the prices of their merchandise to be jacked up even more?

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: advertising, cbp, counterfeit, ice, licensing, sports, superbowl, trademark
Companies: nfl

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread

  1. identicon
    Agreed,mostly, 10 Feb 2020 @ 5:52am

    it is individualized, targeted, and coordinated

    You write very effectively, with good humor.

    But, no, its not merely religion targeting the other(s) in a business as usual scheme of mob activity, re It's not a conspiracy. It's a religious doctrine for reasons I will explain later.

    Notice that I have never, ever referenced a broad conspiracy here, EVER. Not once.

    Then, note that case after case, I indicate that these can be studied and validated with evidence (the Pensacola,shooter, a total ROGS bingo), with actual perpetrators named, and possibly prosecuted.

    Chiefly, we cannot agree, for reasons that I and others who have been “othered”find to be a literal, and existential challenge to our actual lives.

    So, your approach is to leave the lynching victim dangling, whereas mine is to load up some buckshot, and aim it at the crowd, asking nicely a few times, for someone to assist me lifting down a dangling victim or two, and then, to liberate that victim from the psychiatric meta -narrative.

    And, my approach now has others taking a forensic linguistics approach too, so that we can exorcise the tainted terminology from a mired dialectic.

    For example, Dr. Brian King, of HK city college writes extensively about gang stalking, and its affect on him, personally (and I note that he has taken a forensic linguisticsapproach to legitimizing the term gang stalking but also to examine the organization, and organizations behind it.

    “ motivated by my belief that the mainstream treatment of the issue as a mental health concern needs to be challenged and evaluated as a potential bona fide subject for serious academic inquiry by unbiased scholars from different fields...”

    And from his HKU bio:

    “Dr. Brian W. King is a critical sociolinguist who researches the discursive performance of identities and embodiments at the intersection of ethnicity, gender and sexuality. His work on these themes sits within sexuality education....”

    You are also wrong to an extreme when you say that gang stalkers are all too happy to stand out in full public view because they deliberately, and specifically delight in the anonymity that the internet gives them, and then, their power and ability to hide their involvement in harassment behind social mechanisms ranging from Infragard, to SAR reports, and bogus CVE practices, etc.

    Their online commentary on that is so well known that the common expressions bring the cockroaches into the light is expressed by many angry victims, and in many of the written works on this topic.

    Then, gang stalkers other common threat /utterance/inference of blackmailing to an online target is a biblical reference what goes on in darkness.

    So, again, you are wrong, though I appreciate your frustration at my persistence, and my redundance.

    But again, you state:
    no one needs to be told this. We know is affirmative, between you and I, but, MANY people DO NOT KNOW this, and some of those might be readers of Techdirt now, or in the future when.they research this topic, and find this or other threads.

    Why is it important to raise awareness of anything? As you state, Roe v Wade is one good reason, but there are others -like protecting the lives of those being gang stalked by validating their complaints with linguistic evidence, rather than assisting the psychiatric meta-narrative which is currently winning.

    It truly is a battle over one phrase, and that phrase used in ONLY two ways:

    • victims (non -conforming seculars, gay people, black, brown, othered people, whistle blowers, journalists, etc.), who say they are gang stalked and describe the bizarre depths of the activity directed at them, including death threats, and squad cars trying to run them off the roads, and worse

    • perpetrators/ gang stalking denialists (forensic psychologists, onlune profilers, CVE funded private contractors, PIs, LEIU and CVE club members, prescribing psychiatrists, etc.) who relegate that single phrase to a delusional basis

    So, there is very good reason why your approach can only lead to stasis, and false diagnoses for current and future victims, and worse, not least of which is that it simply doesnt get talked about, or when it does, victims are silenced with the tinfoil hat smear, and flagged off of the internet, as I have demonstrated.

    On the surface, I might appear to be an annoying person, a troll, or a deviant spammer mucking up TDs sacred partisan bickering forum, but in reality, I have created, and demonstrated a method to linguistically prove a concept, and others are taking note, and some of them validating the term itself, to take it away from police, psychologists, and religious fanatics who use community policing resources to target, harass, and gang stalk individuals, in specific, localized cases that CAN be validated with names and evidence, and blame assigned to these actors, and actions taken to prosecute them (Infragard working as the go-between on the FBI to -community spies pipeline, for example wage insane amounts of time to illegally cyberstalk, and target individuals internet connections and webs of associations, against the law, but from within darkness of official cover. )

    One of the difficulties of proving any kind of stalking is that its the victims word against his or her stalker, but when its highly organized, its more difficult because of the bizarre nature of official conduct; but not impossible with evidence of the crime in plain sight because these shitbags are quite sloppy in their OpSec (photos, videos ) and internet activities like redirection, hijacking, etc. all leave traces on local systems(Wireshark, for example, will reveal an air gapped hackers or war drivers MAC addresses and router logs can show redirection to the local pigsty, law offices, and Fusion Centers) where this shit is indeed highly organized

    It happens across the political spectrum to victims of all stripes, and its not simply religious people doing it, and although they are perhaps more reprehensible, the left are using these tactics also.

    You and I agree on so much, but on this point whether it is --organized and selectively targeted-- I have documented both over years of time, and others are now too, with forensic evidence of actual state crime, directed at individual, potential influencers.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.