Considered to be one of the most valuable sporting brands across the world, The FA has moved to protect the England 3 Lions crest by hiring De La Rue Holographics to provide a secure brand authentication solution.
De La Rue's offering will incorporate a hologram with a secure online track and trace system. The FA's own holograms will be originated and manufactured in a fully integrated production site in the UK, then shipped to licensees and applied to hang tags and packaging of all England merchandise.
This means that the 3 Lions brand will be protected against thefts from counterfeit, the grey market and piracy.
Each licensed product is effectively given a unique 'licence plate' allowing The FA to track and verify genuine England products wherever they are in the world, also making it harder for counterfeiters to infiltrate and exploit the brand.
"We are proud to be working with De La Rue to deliver a flexible, highly secure solution that will help guarantee both the integrity of The FA's licensing programme and protect its brand equity worldwide," said Estrella Amigo, licensing manager at The FA.
"Licensees will find this innovative programme easy and cost effective to adopt, giving their products a premium position in the retail market."
Sean McAuliffe, commercial director of CPS - which awarded the contract to De La Rue - added: "The FA is a not for profit organisation and the introduction of a highly secure hologram enhances its ability to invest any surplus from the sale of Official England Products back into the game."