Operation Team Player is an ongoing operation that begins after every Super Bowl and runs through the next one targeting international shipments of counterfeit sports merchandise entering the United States.
The Operation is run by the Home Land Security-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), which coordinates its investigations with several law enforcement agencies.
At a June 30th , press conference held in Tampa, Florida, representatives from Homeland Security Investigations (HIS), the National Football League (NFL), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that in the past year169,000 counterfeit sports-related items worth $45 million had been seized under Operation Team Player.
Operation Team Player is a continuing year round investigation conducted by NFL Properties and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other law enforcement agencies to combat the problem of counterfeit sports apparel, fake tickets and web sites selling fake sports apparel. The investigations culminate in February during the Super Bowl weekend when illegal sales activity is highest.
In February, 2017 at the conclusion of Superbowl 51 Homeland Security investigations resulted in the seizure of over 260,000 counterfeit sports related items worth an estimated $20 million. Fifty-six persons were arrested, leading to fifty convictions.
The results in 2016 were equally impressive. With the seizures of 450,000 counterfeit sports-related items worth an estimated $39 million, including counterfeit tickets (see video below).