There were days when football fanatics could be captivated by custom-printed sportswear: a ‘Khan 11’ shining through the fabric of their sweatshirts. But what if you could buy a customized ball instead? Imagine a meme-faced football, or one with 70 mini purple cat face icons. Or better yet, one with “glow-in-the-dark” properties that you could bounce around your room at night?
Sounds unbelievable, right? Not anymore. There’s an old place in town kicking up a storm with their brand new innovative ideas, and it is going to revolutionize the way you see your average football in the market!
‘Capital Sports’, a sports manufacture company located in Sialkot, Pakistan, kicked off the 1982 FIFA World Cup with the ‘Tango’ ball (made for Adidas).
The company goes by the name of Capital Sports and is one of the oldest players of production in the football industry. With their production units in-housed in Sialkot, Pakistan, they have worked their way up to build reputable corporate relations with brands like Adidas, with whom they have been working for more than 30 years. Remember that Tango ball for Adidas in the 1982 World cup? Yeah, they made it. Recently however, they changed the whole ‘ball game’ with a phenomenon that they call ‘Underglass digital printing‘. The underlying principle reinforces the footballs’ structural integrity and allows it to be fully customized.
Up until now, digitally printed balls have been primarily made for promotional/display purposes because their designs fade or peel off when used for playing. Comparatively, balls made with digital printing done under TPU material keeps the colors vivid and makes the design last permanently.
The prints will not chip away or peel off overtime, so you will have the liberty to utilize the ball without worrying about the design coming off.
You can come up with virtually any color and any design and it can be successfully re-created on the footballs. Want sponsor logos on your ball for a local match? No problem. Want specific colored balls to pay homage to a local culture or tradition? Done. The possibilities are endless!
Another major advantage is the guarantee that the surface of the ball is absolutely unimpeachable. Water and mud or any other harsh environmental chemicals cannot come into contact with the printed layer of the ball, which makes the football last longer compared to its predecessors. The ball does not endure any scratches or surface wear, even after a long time of product usage!
It is worth noting that these balls are compatible with all of the three main stitching methods: hand-stitching, machine-stitching and thermal-bonding. With the current trend in football manufacturing switching towards more thermally bonded balls, it is integral to note that this contemporary approach is designed to be more accommodating to meet these modern demands of the industry. Additionally, the company utilizes solvent-free adhesives and water-based inks which eliminate environmental risks so the end product is an Eco-friendly proposition.
Another point emphasizing the diversity of this production process is seen from the company’s venture into the production of ‘glow-in-the-dark’ footballs. This is especially exciting as it will allow incorporating ‘reflective materials’ into the production process. This fresh take on the modern football would be ideal for matches taking place under dim lights, or out on a totally dark field. Thus far in the market, any balls exhibiting reflective phenomena have come forth in solid colors. With underglass digital printing, however, your soccer ball could have a personalized design on a luminescent background.
A ball that is digitally printed; wrinkle/ scratch free; retains its color, design and shape indefinitely; has excellent bounce and flight; is environment friendly and can glow in dark, is no doubt a dream coming true for any soccer ball player and admirer.
In today’s disturbing times, the fact that this remarkable innovation was done in Pakistan is indeed a source of great hope and pride because without any doubt this will emerge as the coolest ball and eventually change the face of world’s football industry.
Article first appeared on linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/coolest-new-innovation-football-asad-ullah-capital-sports