Photo: adidas-Salomon AG
The European Soccer Championship – UEFA EURO 2004® – kicks off in Portugal on June 12. Through July 4 when the prestigious Henry Delaunay Trophy is presented, millions of fans will follow the action on television or go to the stadiums to see the games live. The “lead character” in all 31 matches of the final tournament leading up to the championship will be the RoteiroTM, the official match ball of the 2004 European Soccer Championship. The ball is named after the logbook used by Vasco da Gama, the global explorer, as a tribute to the host nation of Portugal. Adidas, the official ball supplier to the European Soccer Championship, developed the “wonder ball” in close cooperation with Bayer MaterialScience AG.
Long before the opening kick-off, visitors to the Asia Pacific Leather Fair will be able to admire the RoteiroTM at the Bayer MaterialScience stand. And not just because of the ball’s attractive design – the ball is also constructed of high-tech materials. The surface material is a high-solid polyurethane coating formulated with products from Bayer MaterialScience’s Impranil® line of products. It is highly resistant to abrasion and characterized by very low water absorption. Thanks to a new thermal bonding technique developed at adidas, the RoteiroTM has a seamless surface, resulting in consistent accuracy and balance in flight.
Furthermore, because it is easy to print on the coating, designers enjoy virtually unlimited design freedom. This also applies to the dynamic design of the RoteiroTM: the aqua metallic base color represents the sky while the blue globe color is reminiscent of the sea and the silver lines signify the cartographic coordinate system.
The coating is the outer side of a polyurethane composite. Beneath the surface is a special bit of technology: an elastic layer of Impranil®, a syntactic polyurethane foam with low-temperature flexibility. It consists of evenly sized, extremely elastic and highly resistant gas-filled microcells. This composite ensures an especially good ball feel and good damping properties, but it is also responsible for the ball’s precise, predictable trajectory. The syntactic foam is embedded in a composite of multiple polyurethane layers, which in turn is applied to a textile fabric.