FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Komets fans who want to show their pride in the newly-crowned ECHL champions beware: the league says unauthorized online retailers aren’t selling official gear and might not sell you anything at all.
“Unless [fans] are buying this product directly from the team, they’re not getting it from a reputable place,” says Todd Merton, Director of Marketing & Licensing for the ECHL.
Ads titled “Fort Wayne Komets store” have been showing up of Facebook and other websites. The ad doesn’t link to the Komets website but takes users to an unauthorized third party.
“A lot of these places aren’t aren’t as reputable as others,” Merton adds. “So there’s a chance you’ll put your credit card information in there to buy one of these shirts and you’re never going to receive it. Others will send the shirt out but, again, it’s not authorized product. It’s not legal to buy or sell.”
The Komets won their first Kelly Cup on Friday, their tenth championship in team history. Merton said it might have been easier to stop fake sellers in years past.
“A long time ago it was literally just patrolling the parking lot and sending the cops after the guys selling them out of the trunk of their cars,” Merton said. “Nowadays there’s so many e-commerce sites out there that someone can just create a design, throw it up on one of these sites, and if they get orders they produce the shirt and ship it out. It’s kind of like Whack-a-Mole; you get one taken down and five more pop up.
“We just tackle them as best we can,” he said.