If there was ever any evidence that companies can take any aspect of football and attempt to make it exciting and sell the hell out of it...
If there was ever any evidence that companies can take any aspect of football and attempt to make it exciting and sell the hell out of it, this is it.
Even I’m too young to remember when footballs just looked like that. Balls like that one first appeared in the 1970 Mexico World Cup, but it is ever since the 1996 English European Championships, when the first coloured ball was used in a major tournament, that the business of balls has boomed.
The introduction of a new ball is headline news nowadays. The official Champions League ball, the official Premier League ball, etc, etc. They get people talking. This is what Adidas and Nike want after they’ve taken numerous years to design, test and launch these balls. The talk, however, is not always positive.
Nobody will forget this ball in a while. When new footballs are introduced it gives the marketing teams of Adidas and Nike the chance to come up with brilliant descriptions for all of the new things that their ball can do. New things? It’s round, you kick it. The end. The Jabulani was hailed as ‘providing the best players in the world with a ball allowing an exceptionally stable flight and perfect grip under all conditions’. Zero out of two ain’t bad. Even Frank Lampard provided a quote, ‘a very strong ball, true to hit’. I’m sure he was loving it after England played Germany.
Summer 2012 sees Adidas get two chances to redeem themselves after the Jabulani fiasco. Tango 12 has been unveiled as the Euro 2012 ball.
The inspiration for the graphics that can be seen on the ball have been taken from the ‘decorative art of paper cutting’, Adidas really outdoes itself here, ‘the graphics symbolise the key characteristics of football - unity, rivalry and passion’. Does it really though? It apparently took two years to develop the ball. The marketing department took the university approach and did their work the night before it was due.
Adidas decided to outsource the naming of the 2012 Olympic football to the British public, probably to avoid the abuse. The winner came up with ‘The Albert’ as in ‘The Albert Hall’ as in ‘Ball’. The marketing big-wigs at Adidas couldn’t be outdone though, ‘London 2012 is becoming synonymous with the East End of London and it was important to that the name reflected this strong heritage.’ The actual ‘Albert Hall’ however is a shocker. Would you Adam and Eve it.