ECA has launched a new service to enable clubs to protect their brands, stop counterfeits, support licensing and sponsorship revenues - and save money.

A collaboration between the ECA Commercial & Innovation Working Group and leading brand protection software provider Sentryc, ECA’s Brand Protection Service is now fully operational. The service helps clubs to identify and stop the sale of counterfeit club merchandise and addresses fraudulent use of club marks online

Clubs from the ECA Family are being invited to sign up for the new service, which has a range of benefits, namely:

  • It’s more affordable than anything else on the market, making it accessible for clubs of all sizes;
  • It’s easier to get started because ECA has hired specialist, dedicated staff who will guide clubs through the set-up and best practices; and
  • When one ECA club removes fakes and attacks counterfeiters, other members of the ECA Family will benefit.

Some clubs have been “early adopters” of the system, including Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool FC, Borussia Dortmund, AFC Ajax, Celtic FC and FK Sutjeska.

Julien Letellier, Chief Legal Office at PSG, said: "Thanks to machine learning and AI technology, the Sentryc software has acquired a deep knowledge of the different categories of PSG products. The dashboards for the project are also clear, comprehensive and customisable, providing the club with data perfectly adapted to their needs."

Cristina Ionita, Senior Brand Protection Specialist at Liverpool FC added: “Sentryc have the necessary tools and expertise to adapt to varying brand protection needs, whether you’re a local football club or a global one. They are indisputable leaders in their field and I am confident that our club's brand protection is in good hands."

Celtic are another club who have taken to the software and Joanne McNairn, Compliance Manager, said: "Our main goal as part of this project was to find a solution that allowed us to continue to support our partners and licensees, while saving time and improving efficiencies. The system created does this and more."

Overseeing the project are Iida Kambur, ECA’s dedicated Brand Protection Manager, and Michael Short, Head of Commercial Affairs, who previously managed UEFA’s brand protection activities.

Iida Kambur said: “I am excited to be involved in the launch of this new service, which allows clubs to collaborate, share best practices and benefit from impactful brand protection. Clubs can benefit from our comprehensive solution tailored to the unique needs of football clubs and built around four levels of service to ensure that the solution is suitable for clubs of different sizes and needs. As the annual price starts at €2,000, it is truly accessible to every single ECA club.

“The programme does not require a lot of effort from the clubs once it is set up. First, using AI-powered and automatically updated scans, the Sentryc system detects suspicious offers of clubs’ merchandise across hundreds of online marketplaces. Clear infringements are actioned by the software automatically.

“The system removes over 90% of identified infringements and the rest are reviewed by the ECA team. ECA provides advice and escalates important cases to clubs for further review and action and all the way through, clubs have full visibility on progress via dashboards, regular reports, and custom data.

"We already have great experience with the first clubs, and the more clubs join the more impact we can have together. I encourage any interested clubs to reach out to learn more and join the programme."

Key features of the service, depending on the which of the four tiers is selected, include:

  • Searching and enforcing against fake products on online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, Alibaba, Temu, DHGate, as well as local online marketplaces;
  • Monitoring certain social media platforms for IP infringements; and
  • Policing infringing websites and domains affecting your brand.

To learn more about how our Brand Protection Service can benefit your club, we invite you to visit our dedicated website landing page. There, you can explore detailed information about the service and schedule a personalised demo call with our Brand Protection Manager, Iida Kambur.