This image of a football / soccer stadium represents our discussion topic: online scams and brand protection at Euro 2024.

Scalpers, Fakes, and Streams: Euro 2024’s Brand Protection Nightmares 

As Germany welcomes teams and fans from around the world for Euro 2024, an untoward element seeks to undermine the fun: the football industry faces significant brand protection challenges as the market rapidly shifts towards digital platforms. E-commerce acceleration presents both opportunities and risks for football clubs, leagues, and associations. Issues like counterfeit merchandise, ticket fraud, and illegal live streaming sting fans and organizations alike, as the sport’s finances present a growing target. Additionally, safeguarding VIPs, such as high-profile players and managers, adds another layer of complexity. 

As Euro 2024 unfolds, these challenges compete and grow into the tournament, necessitating immediate and effective solutions.  

E-commerce Frauds and Counterfeit Jerseys on Online Marketplaces 

The surge in online sales mirrors a concerning rise in counterfeit products. Fake replica jerseys, apparel, and other merchandise are rampant on various online marketplaces. These counterfeits not only divert revenue from clubs but also harm brand reputation and erode fan trust. Counterfeiters are quick to exploit new product launches, often releasing fake versions before the genuine items are available. With Euro 2024 now in full swing, the demand for team merchandise has soared, creating ideal conditions for counterfeiters. 

Clearly, online marketplaces present critical battlegrounds. While some have improved their anti-counterfeiting measures, there is still a need for better reporting, transparency, data sharing, and stringent seller verification. The surge in Euro 2024 merchandise has put additional pressure on these platforms to enforce stricter measures. This issue proves especially prevalent in Asia, as evidenced by the following sample case on Tokopedia:  

This screenshot of a tokopedia  counterfeit listing demonstrates our discussion topic: the financial aspect of online scams and brand protection at Euro 2024.

As you can see, convincing cut-price scams and counterfeits litter the internet, posing risks around trust and finances for authorities and consumers alike. 

Fake Online Shops 

Imitation online shops posing as official club stores are a significant issue. These shops deceive consumers, diverting them from genuine purchases and diluting brand value. Despite efforts to shut them down, they frequently resurface under different names, making enforcement a continuous struggle. The increased interest in Euro 2024 merchandise has made these fake shops more prevalent and harder to manage.  

This screenshot of a fake shop listing demonstrates our discussion topic: the financial aspect of online scams and brand protection at Euro 2024.

For more information on how these scams operate, and how to stay safe online, see our article on identifying fake shops here

Fake shops, masquerading as sites selling official goods, employ various techniques to attract visitors, such as purchasing ads on search engines and leveraging social media profiles to promote their sales. For instance, the screenshot below shows that the top two search results for “football jersey” direct users to sites promoting counterfeit jerseys and kits.

This screenshot of a Google search for "football jersey" listing demonstrates our discussion topic: the financial aspect of online scams and brand protection at Euro 2024.

Fake Euro 2024 Mobile Apps 

Fake mobile apps impersonating official football team applications are an emerging threat. These apps deceive users by mimicking legitimate team apps, selling counterfeit merchandise, and posing serious security risks. Often, they contain malware that can steal personal information and financial details. The proliferation of such apps during Euro 2024 has heightened concerns, as fans unknowingly download these malicious applications, compromising their data and security. The presence of these fake apps underscores the need for more rigorous app store vetting processes and increased awareness among fans to prevent exploitation.  

Scalping and Fraudulent Ticket Sales 

Ticket scalping and fraud are longstanding problems in the football industry. Scalpers use bots to purchase large quantities of tickets, which are then resold at inflated prices. Additionally, fake ticket websites and fraudulent resellers deceive fans, causing financial loss and disappointment. The scale of Euro 2024 has escalated these issues, with many fans falling victim to scams.  

Unauthorized sellers distributing counterfeit tickets exacerbate the problem. Even advanced digital ticketing systems are not immune to hacking and manipulation, complicating efforts to ensure ticket authenticity. The high demand for Euro 2024 tickets has made this issue more pressing, with clubs and associations striving to combat fraud and ensure legitimate ticket sales.  

Unauthorized and Illegal Live Streaming During Euro 2024

Unauthorized live streaming of matches poses a significant threat, leading to substantial revenue losses. These illegal streams, often hosted on obscure websites, divert viewers from legitimate services. Shutting down these streams is challenging due to their transient nature and ability to reappear quickly. Euro 2024 has intensified this issue, with a proliferation of illegal streams as fans seek free ways to watch matches. Free streams online are not without danger for consumers, including penalties or even being exposed to download of malware, like in the case below:

This screenshot of a scam streaming service highlights our discussion topic: the financial aspect of online scams and brand protection at Euro 2024.

As you can see, clicking on these dubious streaming links redirects users to dangerous landing pages, phishing sites, and hazardous malware downloads. Crimestoppers UK recently found that more than 2.5 million illegal streamers experienced a virus, fraud, or personal data theft, highlighting the extent of an issue that’s only on the rise. Organizations, as well as consumers, must take proactive, decisive action to protect the internet from such concerning digital risks.

Social Media and Messaging Apps 

Social media platforms and messaging apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram suffered a rise in unauthorized streams and highlights sharing as football’s popularity summons scammers across the internet. Enforcement presents a serious challenge, due to the rapid spread and ephemeral nature of content on these platforms. With Euro 2024 upon us, unauthorized content sharing surges, necessitating stronger enforcement measures. Social media platforms also lack adequate proactive measures against counterfeit sales.  

Effective brand protection requires stronger collaboration between clubs and social media companies to ensure swift and effective enforcement. The heightened activity around Euro 2024 shines a light on gaping holes in these measures, necessitating more robust and immediate action.  

VIP Protection: High-Profile Players and Managers 

Protecting high-profile football players and managers extends beyond physical security. Their personal brands present valuable assets that need safeguarding from exploitation and misuse. For more information, check out our expert guide here

Conclusion: Tackling Scams at Euro 2024 and Beyond

The football industry faces a complex challenge in protecting its brand integrity, from counterfeit merchandise and ticket fraud to illegal streaming and VIP protection. Euro 2024 has brought these issues to the forefront, highlighting the need for innovative and robust strategies.  

By adopting comprehensive measures and fostering strong collaborations, football clubs, leagues, and associations can better safeguard their brand, ensuring a secure and authentic experience for fans worldwide.

Trending Stories

Get in touch

Our experts are ready to provide you with a customized solution. Fill out the contact sheet to connect with us.


Client login

Welcome to the client login portal, where EBRAND users access their solution platforms. Select your solution below:

Not an EBRAND client yet? Sign up
Discover more on our Solutions pages