Written by ZOOZ consulting and training | (972)-9-9585085 | [email protected] |

  | Issue 60 |


Another week of Mondial, Brazil and Holland have made it to the quarterfinals, and with two soccer matches a day (and a shorter workday), who’s got time to read electronic newsletters?

So instead of a full-length newsletter, here’s only one column that was originally published in the LaZOOZ newsletter 4 years and 40 issues ago, when we were naive and thought that balls were round. Back then, we never imagined that the soccer ball that would be released at the next Mondial would annoy the players and tarnish Adidas’ image and reputation.

The lesson to be learned from this newsletter is that innovation can also be dangerous, and therefore it’s important to check every new product from every possible angle before launching it, especially if it’s the international debut of a product that’s just a tad too innovative…

Wishing you a great Mondial, and afterwards – blunder-free product launches, for whatever you have planned! .

Ari Manor, CEO, ZOOZ


An innovation which surprised the world market and competitors


The ball is (even) rounder

Adidas is the leading international brand in the soccer market, and not by chance. Since 1970, Adidas has been developing the new official soccer ball of the Mondial games every four years - the soccer world cup. Before Adidas embarked upon this enterprise, the soccer ball was heavy, brown, and bulky. The innovations that Adidas introduced over the years were design oriented and functional, and changed the sport unrecognizably.


The 1970 (Mexico) ball was made entirely of leather like its predecessors, but was sewn from five black pentagons and twenty white hexagons, which gave it a more attractive design and a rounder surface area (that made it possible to kick it further and more accurately). In 1974 (Germany) the ball's colors were changed, and in 1978 (Argentina) it was sewn from 20 panels with groups of three, making it seem as if it were made of 12 identical circles, and it was more durable to weather. In 1982 (Spain) a waterproof coating was added to the ball (and since then the ball is not as heavy when it rains).


In 1986 (Mexico once again) a soccer ball from synthetic leather was introduced for the first time (more durable and absorbs less moisture). In 1990 (Italy) an internal polyurethane layer was added, and for the first time the ball was completely water resistant, and faster than ever. In 1994 (United States) the polyurethane layer was improved and it made the ball springier (softer to the touch, easier to control, and much faster when kicked). In 1998 (France) a soccer ball made of three colors was introduced for the first time, and small gas bubbles trapped in the internal layer improved the ball's durability and precision. In 2002 (Japan/Korea) a change in the segments the ball was sewn from and the addition of layers increased the ball's precision while airborne.


The 2006 Finals' ball (Germany, this month) will reach the shelves on the 10th of December of this year, and is expected to be the best sold ball in history. It contains 14 parts with an innovative design, whose sewing together decreased the number of stitches by 15% and the quantity of points where 3 parts touch each other by 60%. The result is a ball that is rounder than ever before, smooth, and easier to control. In addition, the parts are joined by an innovative technology that uses warm adhesion, and therefore the ball absorbs less than 0.1% water (compared to the FIFA standard that permits 10% absorption). A dry soccer ball flies even faster and higher through the air.


Additional tests, conducted with typical German precision show that the new soccer ball is even more accurate by 30% compared to other esteemed balls (when the ones kicking are… robots), its diameters (which are measured in 10 different spots) differ only by a quarter of a centimeter (in contrast to the standard - a whole centimeter), the weight of the new balls differ only by 3 grams (when the permitted standard is 25 grams), and the difference between the ball's various bounces when it is tossed from a height of 2 meters is only up to 2 cm (the permitted standard is 10 cm). Without a doubt this is the best soccer ball that has ever been manufactured: it's faster, rounder, more precise, and easier to control. Maybe this is why the Brazilians have lost their relative advantage?


Published by ZOOZ | +972-9-9585085 | [email protected] |

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