When adidas presented Telstar 18, the Official Match Ball for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia in early November 2017, it introduced the first-ever match ball to feature an embedded NFC tag – Smartrac’s Circus Flex. That announcement is the perfect opportunity for Smartrac to explain how it has become a strong partner in supporting adidas’ NFC-related activities.
As a company, adidas owns one of world’s most iconic brands and, despite its great reputation, works tirelessly in a very competitive arena to continuously evolve that brand through design and innovation. That’s why the sports apparel giant has entered the new territory of making its products smart through Near-Field Communication (NFC) – with the support of one of the global leaders in adding intelligence to products – Smartrac.
Evolving customer experience with NFC
On the occasion of the Telstar 18 product launch, Roland Rommler, Football Hardware Category Director at adidas, said that, together with a new panel structure, NFC technology “has taken football innovation and design to a new level, offering both consumers and players a completely new experience.” In its press release, adidas’ stated that NFC “enables consumers to interact with the ball using a smartphone. Upon interaction – which involves a simple tap of a mobile device against the NFC touch-point on the ball – each ball generates a unique identifier, unlocking exclusive content and information for the user”.