So yesterday, I get a link from a reader that points me to a YouTube rant from a Lakers fan, who thinks the NBA and adidas are being disingenuous in advertising that they sell authentic, pro-cut jerseys. The fan makes a lot of good points. The most important one: the authentic jerseys they sell online sure don't look like the real ones. It's actually really entertaining.
The fan said he took his complaints to the NBA and adidas, but they both failed to give him a sufficient response. That's not surprising and I don't blame either organization for the lack of response. These guys get hundreds of calls to their switchboards every day and you can't expect these people to be routed to employees who can give them good answers.
So we did some work and called both. For its part, an NBA official did say that the word "pro-cut" was inaccurate and, although it is still listed as such on the site, will be removed from the listing soon. Pro-cut means that the jersey is to the exact size and specifications of the athlete. Pro-cut jerseys are often coveted by crazed fans and autograph hounds.
But the league spokesman did say that the jerseys are authentic, but that the pictures at the NBA.com store did not accurately reflect how the jerseys look. (I'm not sure how this benefits sales). Adidas spokesman Travis Gonzolez said that pro-cut jerseys are sometimes available for order through teams, but are quite rare given the lack of demand.
The bottom line is the fan's argument doesn't seem to be as big of a deal as it was made out to be, but it is certainly worth discussing. There is a miscommunication between a discerning fan--who wants to buy a jersey--and what he comes to find online.
And I guess, in this new age that we live in, if you don't get answers, you take it to YouTube. Now the fan knows that he'll get an authentic jersey if he pays for it, but he won't get a pro-cut, which was advertised.
Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com