World Cup means new round ball game for Adidas

Adidas is expecting to sell 15 million of its Teamgeist World Cup balls as football fever sweeps the globe ahead of the tournament's opening next month. In 2002 Adidas, which has provided the official World Cup ball since 1970, sold 6 million. This time it expected sales of 10 million but the chief executive, Herner Hainer, told a German newspaper that estimates were up 50 percent. "It's totally new, innovative," enthused a spokesman quoted by Mark Milner of The Guardian (UK). "A totally new design ... The ball will be rounder than ever before. Adidas claims the Teamgeist is made of 14 synthetic foam panels that are thermally bonded, not stitched together. One result is that the ball absorbs very little water - 0.1% of its weight, apparently - during a game played in wet weather.

See also: Adidas fights off Nike/Puma 'World Cup' challenge (21 Mar)