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Is Your Brand in Danger?

Brand pirates now fake SMB products. Are you getting hurt?

This story appears in the July 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

For almost a century, Mitchell & Ness, the Philadelphia-based apparel company that now makes vintage athletic jerseys licensed from national sports leagues, cruised under counterfeiters' radar.

But when rapper Big Boi wore a Mitchell & Ness Houston Astros jersey in a music video in 1999, he sparked a trend that turned the $2 million sports shop into a $40 million fashion hothouse almost overnight. To keep up with demand, Mitchell & Ness president Peter Capolino outsourced production to Korea. Within months, fake Mitchell & Ness gear made in Asia had flooded the U.S. market.

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