Without a doubt, the FIFA World Cup is the world´s biggest sports event. Millions and millions of fans around the world just couldn´t wait for this ultimate happening to start with the kick-off game on June 12. But – once the World Cup is finally there – what is the one single event where all the excitement comes to a climax? Of course; the final! It’s the pinnacle of the tournament, the two best teams in the world battle it out for a place in history. And no matter which teams play, an estimated one billion people worldwide will follow the game on TV, online or at public viewing events.
Safe to say that the final of the World Cup really is a special moment – one that deserves a special product. This is why we created a dedicated version of the brazuca, the Official Match Ball of the 2014 World Cup, for the final: the brazuca Final Rio.
Ok, for those of you who really have been following “the beautiful game” over the last years, you probably know that this idea isn´t totally new. As a matter of fact there have already been other dedicated final ball designs for previous World Cups, and also European Championships along with the UEFA Champions League. For the World Cup 2006 the teamgeist Berlin was the first specially designed final ball and we continued the story with the Jo’bulani in 2010.
A design full of emotion
Coming back to the World Cup 2014, from a technological and structural point of view, the brazuca Finale Rio is the exact same ball as the brazuca which has been played throughout the whole tournament, including the semi-finals. Ensuring the teams play with the same ball they got familiar with over the last couple of weeks and months.
What makes the brazuca Final Rio special is its design. It reflects the emotions that, at that point of the tournament, have reached an absolute peak – you literally see the emotions bursting out of the ball. All the dancing, celebrations and fan excitement we experienced during this World Cup are reflected… and not to forget: gold and green are the colors of the World Cup trophy that every player is so eager to lift up after the final.
I think that the design turned out really strong and I am confident that football fans around the world will love it as much as I do.
A peak from various angles
However, the brazuca Final Rio is not just part of the peak of this 4 week event – it also somehow symbolises the end of a three year development process that I have been heavily involved in. As the responsible product manager, working on the brazuca has been an extraordinary ride for me.
Not many people get the chance to work on THE most iconic product of a FIFA World Cup. I am still totally thrilled by the fact that I was part of such a great and dynamic team, consisting of designers, developers, engineers and many more, that brought this fantastic product to life.
It also makes me proud to see that the brazuca has received great feedback from players and fans alike, which has always been the prime goal for us here at adidas.
Throughout the development process I had some very unique “goose bump-moments” that I recall very well: meetings with some of the world´s greatest football players to get their feedback and input; the day we all sat down and said: “This is it. That’s the final product.”; getting the thumbs-up from people when we first presented the ball to a wider audience; and of course the first time the ball was played in an official match.
However, for sure there is one more even bigger goose bumps-moment set to come: this Sunday, July 13, 2014 when the brazuca Final Rio will be played for the first and also the last time ever. When an estimated two billion eyes turn to the world famous Estadio do Maracana to witness that special moment in time when again the two best teams in the world battle it out for a place in history.