Adidas Soccer revealed the Official Match Ball for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia: the Telstar 18.

According to Adidas, the Telstar 18 is a reimagining of the first Adidas FIFA World Cup match ball, the Telstar, which was used at the 1970 tournament in Mexico. The name of the original came from its position as the “star of television.” The first ball to be decorated with black panels, the pattern was designed to stand out on black and white televisions, and changed soccer design forever.

The ball has a brand new carcass that retains the best features of the Brazuca, the Official Match Ball of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while building in new technology to maximize performance. A new panel design features a metallic print execution and texture graphic effect, engineered to provide performance and durability both in the stadium and on the street. Sustainability has been a key focus of the Telstar 18, with elements including re-cycled backing material and packaging.

The Telstar 18 features an embedded NFC chip – the first time it’s ever been used in an Official Match Ball. The chip enables consumers to interact with the ball using a smartphone. Upon interaction, each ball generates a unique identifier, unlocking exclusive content and information for the user.  The personalized and location-aware experience displays specific details of each ball and provides access to challenges that users can enter in the run-up to the World Cup.

Roland Rommler, category director Soccer Hardware, said: “The original Telstar is one of the most iconic soccer balls of all time and one which changed soccer design forever, so developing the Telstar 18 while staying true to the original model was a really exciting challenge for us. The new panel structure and inclusion of an NFC chip has taken soccer innovation and design to a new level and offers both consumers and players a completely new experience. “

Photo courtesy Adidas