Nike Flight — A whole new ball game

A whole new ball game.



One of the greatest attributes of football is that the only thing you need to play the game is a round object. It doesn’t even have to be perfectly round, just round enough to roll, and soft enough to kick.

That said, in the elite format of the game, the stakes are high. With the ever-increasing pressure from the game’s stakeholders and the very real prospect of potential city-changing financial gains — or losses — the technology around the game has had to sharpen up its act.

From the introduction of goal-line technology, to the pantomime villain that is VAR (the Video Assistant Referee) we’ve seen many initiatives introduced to help improve the consistency of the decision making, and as such (eventually) reduce the ambiguity around the many grey areas that exist in the sport.

Nike Flight Ball — The Prototypes

But what about the players? Boots have improved in technology, and the very turf on which the game is played is now a symphonic fusion of the organic and the technological as grass and synthetic turf combine to provide the optimal playing surface. Despite all these welcome advancements, the heart of the game is and always will be the football itself.

We’ve come a long way since the handstitched weighty leather balls of the past, to a stage now we’re able kick the ball without ankle reinforcements, and with an dexterous agility that has taken the sport to a new level.

Introducing the all new Nike Flight football.  Using Nike’s new AerowSculpt technology, the ball’s design addresses inconsistent aerodynamics; now delivering a measurable benefit of 30% truer flight than any Nike predecessor. The fruit of an 8 year investigation process, insights from players by the Nike Equipment Innovation Lab were addressed in three stages; Explore, Recreate and Innovate.

“The construction started with a square shaped Aerotrack groove. Over the course of the 68 iterations, we modified the shape of the groove, added sculpted chevrons, and explored multiple features throughout to deliver one geometric pattern that helps promote a more stable flight.”

_ Kieran Ronan, Nike Senior Director for Global Equipment

In addition to the AerowSculpt technology, the ball’s new panel configuration helps improve the flight, using a fuse-welded four panel construction with 40 percent fewer stiff seams than a traditional 12-panel ball.

One thing that remains to be seen is the impact of these changes on the game of football on the whole. Will this truer ball flight favour Goal Keepers, or will the improved sweet spot be of added benefit to the outfield player…? As with any new additions to the beautiful game, only time will tell.

The Nike Flight Ball is available worldwide from June 29th.

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