Soccer balls are ubiquitous around the globe from the home-made version to the ones used at professional matches. But the official World Cup ball is the best known and most remembered of all soccer balls.
The Telstar to the Tango to the Azteca to the Fevernova to the Jabulani most soccer fans are familiar with each of these balls and their place in history.
Since 1970, adidas has been the official supplier of the World Cup match ball and they unveiled the brazuca, the official ball of the 2014 World Cup, on Tuesday. The new ball has the look and attitude of Brazil with a bright colorways and new flowing zig-zag design. It is the first ball to feature only 6 panels.
But the biggest question is whether the brazuca can become the first $1 billion ball?
The 2010 World Cup ball the Jabulani, which was not well received, sold 13 million of the size 5, 4, mini-ball, and replica versions at an estimate value of $650 million.
The brazuca has some advantages that should help it surpass the totals of the Jabulani.
First, the look of the ball is much nicer. Despite the zig-zag design the ball has a better symmetry and the colors work.
Second, the new 6-panel design and thorough blind testing gives this ball a chance of really being a good looking and good performing ball. adidas snuck prototypes into training sessions with top players like Lionel Messi, Iker Casillas, and Bastian Schweinsteiger as well as putting it to the test at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
Third, the World Cup is in Brazil! There is no doubt Brazilians care more about the Beautiful game than anywhere else in the world. The passion starts at birth and is for 365 days a year but rests on the 5 stars above the Brazilian crest. The 3-stripes are working to get the ball on the feet of the people offering a brazuca ball to every child born in Brazil on December 3, 2013.
Fourth, the U.S. market. The World Cup is in the same time zone as the U.S. so fans will be able to easily catch games and are known to buy into a new look. And the passion for the game continues to rise with more access to games from around the globe available on U.S. TV (most notably the increased exposure of the English Premier League). And if the Red, White, and Blue can make a run in Brazil no telling how far this ball could go.
Check out the new brazuca ball and get one of your own at the World Soccer Shop. Get in the Game!
Do you think the brazuca can become a $1 billion ball? Do you think this ball will play better than the Jabulani?