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Difference Between Player vs Fan Jerseys


“How To Tell The Difference Between Player vs Fan Jerseys?”

There’s nothing better than sporting your favorite player or club’s kit at a soccer match or a sports bar. When shopping for sportswear, you may have come across the terms “authentic jerseys,” sometimes called player jerseys, and “replica jerseys,” also called fan jerseys, and wondered what the differences are between the jersey types.

Authentic jerseys and replica jerseys are legitimate products licensed and approved by the club and the manufacturer, but they are made for different groups. The authentic jersey is for players, so it needs more high-performance features than the replicas since those are for fans and are not normally worn during intense physical exercise.

Learn how to differentiate between authentic player and replica fan jerseys, so you invest in the best jersey for you. Prosoccer.com offers both authentic and replica jerseys for women and men, but player vs fan jerseys differ in a few key ways:

Shape and Fit

Replica fan jerseys have a more relaxed fit, similar to a t-shirt or polo. These keep you comfortable while in the stands or the sports bar, and you can easily layer them over tanks or thermal wear for year-round use.

Authentic player jerseys are more form-fitting, with tighter waist, hips, and arms to allow players to retain their range of motion and make those impressive plays unobstructed by extra fabric.

The slimmer fit also prevents opponents from grabbing jerseys to pull players away from the ball. Adidas authentic jerseys have what’s known as a performance fit, meaning they support movement, while Nike authentic jerseys boast a slim fit.

Barcelong player vs fan jersey fit side by side images

Threading and Fabric

Authentic player jerseys are made of high-performance fabric that wicks away sweat and increases breathability. Adidas authentic player jerseys use AERO READY fabric technology, while Nike authentic player jerseys use their VaporKnit technology and Nike Breath fabric.

The added high-performance features keep your favorite players dry and regulate their body temperature so they can stay on the pitch longer. "Replica" or fan jerseys are made of conventional fabric.

Nike includes Dri-FIT technology and Adidas includes some AEROREADY technology in the fan jersey collection, but it isn’t a standard feature.

Branding/Sponsor Logos

The logos on your fan jersey need to be durable enough to stand up to repeated washings. As a result, all the applications on a replica jersey are either embroidered onto the fabric or are sewn-on patches.

This also adds extra weight to the jersey. On the other hand, an authentic or player jersey needs to be as light as possible, so all logos are heat pressed onto the jersey fabric rather than consisting of extra material and thread. Because they are heat pressed, they are raised and textured without the added bulk of thread and material.

These heat-pressed logos are the most fragile part of the authentic player jersey, making it a bit harder to care for than the fan replica, but its authenticity outweighs the inconvenience of a few extra steps.

Caring For Your Jersey

The two jersey styles are made differently, requiring distinct wash routines to care for them properly. Pretreat stains on player and fan jerseys, but avoid chlorine bleach, which can ruin the mesh polyester. Before you wash either type of jersey, turn it inside out to protect the appliqués and embroidery.

The embroidered and sewn-on applications of a fan jersey can get snagged on other items in the machine, and heat pressed applications can tear, peel, or stick to other parts of the jersey, ruining its value and appearance.

You can use standard laundry detergent but skip the fabric softener because it’s too harsh on polyester and can damage the moisture-wicking and breathable technology found on both authentic and fan jerseys.

Avoid using heat, such as irons or dryers, on either type of jersey; extreme heat can cause damage and warping. When you take your jersey out of the wash, turn it right-side-out again and shake it before hanging it up to air dry.

Your replica fan jersey is made to withstand multiple washings, but to make it last longer, wash it in cold water. However, never throw your authentic player jerseys in with the rest of your laundry, or you risk damaging them. Always handwash your authentic jersey to keep it looking its best.

Why Are Replicas Made?

Replicas are made because a fan doesn’t need the same features as the pros, and those extra features make a jersey more expensive. The average fan also finds the replicas more comfortable for all-day wear since the fit is more relaxed.

Finally, replicas are more durable than player jerseys, so they can withstand repeated wearing.

Are Replica Jerseys Good Quality?

All replica soccer jerseys are good quality as long as they are officially licensed and manufactured by the same company that makes the official soccer jersey. Only counterfeit jerseys are not of equal quality.

Order Your Favorite Club Jersey Today

Whether you prefer the authentic player jersey or the replica fan jersey, order your favorite player or team’s jersey from Prosoccer official licensed jerseys page today. We offer player personalization on all our authentic and replica jerseys, and the letters and numbers are authentic, even on replica jerseys.

We also offer the option to add authentic sleeve badges to both player and fan jerseys. Order your authentic or replica jerseys online today.

Where can I go if I have more questions?

You can always call us, talk to us via our website live chat or simply stop by our Pasadena, CA location if you're in town.  Our knowledgeable team will be happy to answer all your questions about player vs fan jerseys and help you find your favorite club team jersey.

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