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Published:June 8th, 2010 14:06 EST

New World Cup Soccer Ball Design Creates a New Age of Controversy Every Four Years

By Ron G Anselm

    

   The game of soccer is like any other sport it has a regulation ball that has to be within World Cup Soccer standards. Of course, to the players, the ball could be within any standards as long as it has enough air in it to be able to kick it from mid-field into the net to score a goal.

     Like any sport, there are standards to the size and shape of the ball the game is played with. The NFL has a regulation football that has to have precise air pressure in it and the size has to be so exact it is measured in millimeters. College football is the same, but of course the ball size and shape has different standards than the NFL. In Major League baseball, the ball has to have an exact amount of red yard sticking in it from the top of the ball to the bottom and the size and weight has to be exact within baseball standards. The NBA is the same way and even keeps track of the material the ball is made of which affects the bounce of the ball as a player dribbles from mid-court to the line to shoot a three-point goal attempt.

     Soccer is no different. In this country the game of soccer is not as popular as it is in Europe, the Continent of Africa, or South America. Over in those countries, soccer is like the NFL here in this country when it comes to popularity, so the fans of this country do not really hear a great deal about the game of soccer; especially the standards the soccer ball has to meet before the start of each game and tournament.

     This year`s 2010 World Cup Soccer Tournament has stirred up plenty of controversy with the players and teams competing. Like any sport at the professional level, it is just like any corporation; money makes the game go round. It is all about money and what tid-bit marketing can we do to make more revenue. So, the design of the ball now becomes the way to make money.

     The same design and standards for the soccer ball is used in each World Cup Tournamnet for four years. This means the same soccer ball design stays the same for four years of World Cup Soccer, so the players get used to the same ball year after year. It`s the same to a baseball player when he has his lucky bat and you always see him coming to the plate with his lucky bat in his hands ready to crush that fastball over the left field bleachers. If his lucky bat breaks, he feels lost until he can find another baseball bat he feels comfortable with and then that new bat replaces his old bat and is now his new lucky bat. The same principle is true for the soccer player when it comes to the item that makes his sport function, the soccer ball. So, when the tournament management makes the decision to change the ball to make money, it affects the players.

     To the tournament management, the question now becomes, how can we generate more revenue to turn to profit and bring in more cash flow? In soccer, the way to do this is to change the ball after a certain amount of time. The game of soccer has a lesser fan base than baseball, football, hockey, basketball and so on, so this is the reason there has to be ideas of how to always make money and this is why you never see Major League baseball changing the ball design or the NFL and so on because these are multi-billion dollar sports and really don`t need extra ways to make extra money and there is a wide variety of souvenirs available in these sports not just one item as in soccer. And because if you changed the ball shape, design, weight and so on in football, baseball, basketball and the puck in hockey, the game would change as-well.

     The country that hosts the World Cup Soccer Tournaments brings in tons of soccer fans to their country. And like any tourist spot, the more the tourists, the more the money for that country. And the soccer ball now takes the place of the idea of placing any new product on the market. As the new product hits the market, sales are at their highest peak in the beginning of the introduction of the new product. Over the years as that new item, this case being the soccer ball sales decrease at every World Cup Tournament, a new marketed items takes its place, this being the new soccer ball design that occurs every four years. And since most of the time you have repeat soccer fans that are so die hard for the game that they attend every World Cup Tournament, you can guarantee sales because those same fans will be buying the new souvenir soccer ball with each new design; sort of how these Diehard fans in the Deep South collect every NASCAR souvenir that hits the toy store.

     So, the company that makes the soccer balls for every fourth tournament has to come up with a new design for that year`s soccer tournament. This is good for the tournament, the company making the new soccer ball, and the country hosting that year`s tournament because lots of fans will more than likely be buying lots of souvenirs like a soccer ball which will generate a lot of cash flow.

     As for the players competing in the tournament, it`s like any new change, at first they are going to be reluctant to the change, but after they are kicking the ball around the field like Chuck Norris kicks the bad guy`s behinds (or used to) they will quickly adapt to the new soccer ball design.

     So, the next time you watch that World Cup Soccer Tournament from either the comfort of your easy chair in your living room, or maybe you attend a tournament in one of the countries hosting it, keep track of the ball they are using for that year, take a picture of it; then compare the ball after four years with the ball they are using for that year, I can almost guarantee the ball will be of a completely different design than the previous year`s soccer balls. Hey, there you go; start a new hobby collecting soccer balls.