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Authenticity
 
Icons of Sport
The base of every successful brand is ongoing customer trust in authenticity, quality, value and service.
All Icons of Sport signed products are either directly sourced from player/team/individual management companies or licenced organisations i.e. A Tag, Price Waterhouse . All signings come with photo proof.
 
Overseas products are sourced from suppliers using world recognised authentiticating processes i.e.Oneline Authentics, Upper Deck, Steiner.
 
All photos are copyrighted,and are either owned by Icons of Sport or printed under licence.
 
Licence fees are paid to all governing bodies i.e. NRL,AFL,ACB,ARU,FFA, Men of League
 

Buyers beware

Fakers and fraudsters have been around forever. The internet now makes it easier for them to ply their trade, with relative impunity.

 

Sporting, Movie and Music personalities signed photos and memorabilia are frequently faked. The bigger the name or team the higher the probability of fakes.

 

If it takes a major memorabilia firm 2 months to do a signing with a premier league player, with a significant cost per signature.How long would it take to get a team signed jersey? Is it going to be constantly available online at a bargain price? Or why are national team signed jerseys still readily available after cup wins years later. Or the how do the mega stars of music do so many signed guitars?

 

 

It is estimated that in “certain categories up to 95% of imported items are fakes”.

 

“Online Authentics is a company set up by Muhammad Ali’s manager in order to combat the excessive amount of fakes sold. It is estimated that 95% of Muhammad Ali autographs are fakes. At all Ali private signings since 2001, Online Authentics attend, witness, photograph and apply eggshell stickers with unique serial numbers. The customer can see the exact signature of their product at the time of signing.

  

 Buyers forewarned

 

As it is very difficult with out expert advice to verify authenticity, potential buyers must look for reassurance in the supplier and their credibility.

 

 

Every reliable supplier will be able and willing to provide you with credible information.

 
Use your common sense:

 

  • Check on their details and address and how long in business.
  •  Worry about certificates that don’t link back to a company or fixed address
  • Are photos of signing generic?
  • Is the same pen used for signing each time
  • Does the supplier have a ready supply of hard to get memorabilia

Method of  Signing

 

Hand written Signatures applied before 1960 were mostly done in ball pen, pencil or fountain pen. Felt-tip pens became popular in the 1960s and indeed,. Autographs in ball pen are the most vulnerable and likely to fade if is not cared for, while pencil, although perhaps less attractive than the stronger pen & ink, can last longer.

Signatures applied with pen & ink or other usually have a sheen which is not present on printed signatures.

 
Printed autographs
Looks flat and appears to be under the surface of the paper.

A signature in pen & ink applied many years ago has had plenty of time to dry! If an autograph applied in fountain pen, supposedly long ago, now smudges with the lightest encouragement of a damp cotton bud, then it probably isn't genuine.

 
AutopenThe Autopen is a machine which signs an autograph in the celebrity's handwriting.   It was developed in the early part of this century but only became popular in the late 1940's.
There are several tips that may enable one to suspect that a signature is an Autopen. Look for these signs:
 
Look if the signature has perfectly even ink flow throughout
Look if the signature had even ink flow even at the beginning and end of the signature (i.e. no lift-off effect with pen)

Look for odd squiggly lines that are un-natural
Try to match with other autopenned signatures of same person
Shaky signature, which indicates movement while the machine is in operation
 Light signature, especially one that does not have variation in pressure as seen by an indentation in the paper when viewed in the proper light
abrupt pen stops
 

Counterfeit Ali Autographs Flooding the Market

Posted on 08.Apr, 2009 by Sport Placement Services

"Autograph collectors and fans of Muhammad Ali should think twice before spending money to purchase what they believe to be a genuine signature from the Greatest. My company Sports Placement Service Inc. handled the signings and licensing of the Ali name for nearly twenty years. Together with my partner Jerald Gibbs we witnessed Muhammad sign his name over 25,000 times. We have numerous examples of various styles and changes over the years. If anyone has the right to make the following statements it is us. In our opinion there are thousands of fake Ali signatures that are being marketed and sold through various means including online auctions, charity auctions and flea markets. Collectors should be extra careful of items signed Cassius Clay or Muhammad Ali aka Cassius Clay.

It has been almost five years since we did our last direct deal with Steiner Sports Marketing and Muhammad Ali. Unfortunately we believe someone has been able to alter Steiner Certificates and are selling fake autographs. This is hurting Steiner, Ali, collectors and fans who are buying crap. The majority of the items signed by Ali over the past nine years have been witnessed by a representative of SPS and come with a certificate from OnlineAuthentics.com.

There are many people who do sell real autographs and this is not to slam or harm those who do. With the down economy items have hit the market in greater numbers; collectors are selling items from their personal collections. If you are being offered Ali or Clay product in quantity at a selling price of $600-$1000 chances are it is not real. Buyers should do their research and know who they are buying from and if there is a full 100 percent money back guarantee when it comes to the authenticity of the signature.

I took the time to write this because the fake Ali autographs have hurt my business, the value of my own collection and frustrated me to no end."


Fans duped into buying 'fake' Champions League Final memorabilia

Feb 8 2008 Liverpool Daily Post

SPORTS fans were conned into spending thousands of pounds on faked autographs in the wake of Liverpool FC’s famous Champions League win in 2005, a court heard.

Signatures, including those of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, were “systematically” forged and sold by businessmen Graeme Walker and Faisal Madani, a jury at Chester Crown Court was told.

Other autographs forged included England rugby player Jonny Wilkinson, and footballers David Beckham, Michael Owen, and Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, it was claimed.

Walker, 45, is accused of more than 50 counts of cheating the customers of his shop, Sporting Icons Limited, based in Chester city centre and on the internet site eBay.

Madani, 43, described in court as the “middle man”, faces 20 counts of supplying the forgeries.

Andrew Thomas QC, prosecuting, said: “The investigation took place over eight months in 2005, a good year for English sport.

Liverpool, a popular local team, won the European Cup.

“We say Sporting Icons took advantage of the lucrative market for sporting merchandise. This is not a case of one or two rogue items slipping through the net.

“Of the autographed goods examined in this investigation – about 140 separate items – the overwhelming majority proved to be forgeries.

“Hundreds of other items seized from the Sporting Icons shop were found to have counterfeit trademarks.”

Mr Thomas said the charges were only a sample of many hundreds of forged and counterfeit goods sold or offered for sale by Sporting Icons.

He said prosecutors had relied on evidence from a handwriting expert and some stars themselves, including Carragher, Gerrard, Owen and Wilkinson who have denied signing the items.

Walker, of Mountain View Close, Connah’s Quay, Deeside, and Madani, of Grange Road, Stockport, deny the charges and responsibility for producing the fakes. The pair claim the goods were bought in good faith and from reputable sources.

Mr Thomas said: “The defendants were involved in selling effectively worthless items to the public. Customers paid premium prices in the belief that they were buying genuine goods, such as items autographed by their heroes.

“In short, they were ripping fans off.”

Mr Thomas told the jury that in 2002 Madani had paid George Best compensation of £10,000 after he was caught selling fake autographs of the footballing legend.

He showed the jury an e-mail in which Walker threatened Wilkinson’s rep- resentatives with court action and “exposure to the media” because the company had requested proof that the autograph for sale was genuine.

The jury were told raids of Walker’s house recovered pieces of paper which had been used to practise the signatures of Wayne Rooney and Pele.

Mr Thomas said: “Mr Walker, when interviewed, told investigators he didn’t realise he had broken the trademark rules.

“I can tell you that in July 1999, in this court, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply trademarked items without consent.

“The offence related to a factory run by Mr Walker which produced Calvin Klein perfume.

“According to Mr Walker, Mr Madani was responsible for supplying 80% or 90% of the Sporting Icons stock, although Mr Madani disputes that.”

The case continues.

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