I recently found an online store selling Nike NFL jerseys for a reasonable price, NFL Merchandise UK claimed to have “[b]rand New 2012/13 Nike Jerseys Now Available for purchase directly for UK Customers”. So I contacted them and even asked about wholesale deals available, as they have a wide range of NFL jerseys, tees and caps amongst some other NFL equipment.
While there are a lot of fake jersey sellers on the internet, those jerseys usually retail about $20-40, NFL Merchandise UK was selling their Nike jerseys for £79.99 so I assumed they were real, especially aligned with the fact they sell a range of other NFL gear and use official Nike photography and size charts. I was happy enough to put in an order for a 49ers Willis jersey, knowing that if it did turn out to be fake I could, at least, warn others that may be considering buying a jersey.
On receiving my jersey three weeks later, it was obvious immediately it wasn’t a Nike Game jersey, which is the one I would have expected at the £80 cost. First off the numbers and name plate were stitched on as apposed to the screen printed on the Game jersey and the silicon printed numbers of the Elite. Also the NFL logo is very obviously misplaced on the neck.
The jersey also has an odd fit, I can’t confirm that it’s how the Elite jersey fits but it sits high on the shoulders and tight on the waist.
Having not heard back from the store operators in two days in response to my questions about the jersey, I can only assume receiving a fake jersey was not a mistake.
While the jersey does look very good and, to those unfamiliar with the design of the Nike jerseys, looks very convincing, I do feel that NFL Merchandise UK sell the jerseys under the pretense of their authenticity. When you’re also paying the same price as the genuine article, there is an expectation that you wouldn’t receive a knock off from Asia.
So if you’re looking for a UK or European seller of authentic jerseys, the wait continues. But when I find one and verify it, you’ll hear about it on NFL-Ireland.com!
Check out the gallery of the jersey below.
UPDATE 2/8/2012: NFL Merchandise UK have contacted me to say they are currently in contact with their suppliers about the authenticity of their jerseys.