Adidas offers free World Cup ball to new-borns in Brazil

Wed Dec 4, 2013 2:26pm EST
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RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The latest army of Brazil fans born in the country have been offered a free World Cup ball by German sporting goods maker Adidas as part of the official launch of the brazuca.

The company's chief executive Herbert Hainer said earlier this week that he expected Adidas to sell a record number of soccer balls next year when the tournament kicks off.

However, any child born in Brazil on Tuesday, when the ball was launched, can be the proud owner of a brazuca, named in 2012 after a public vote in Brazil involving one million fans.

The name comes from an informal local term meaning "Brazilian" and refers to the Brazilian way of life. It is also used to compliment a skilful move on the pitch.

The colors and ribbon design of the ball panels symbolize the traditional multi-colored wish bracelets worn in the country (fita do Senhor do Bonfim da Bahia).

The ball was tested for 2-1/2 years by more than 600 players and 30 teams in 10 countries across three continents, including Argentina's Ballon d'Or, or world player of the year, winner Lionel Messi and European champions Bayern Munich.

It was also used in several internationals, with a different design, including a Sweden-Argentina friendly in February.

Adidas has made every World Cup ball since 1970 and recently extended its partnership with soccer's world governing body FIFA until 2030, including the supply of the official match ball.

The company said in a news release that "a new structural innovation with a unique symmetry of six identical panels alongside a different surface structure will provide improved grip, touch, stability and aerodynamics on the pitch".   Continued...

File photo of Adidias logos on the company's building in Landersheim near Strasbourg March 31, 2009. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann