Today, with the group stages of the tournaments fast approaching, adidas reveals the Official Match Balls for the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Inspired by the pre-match anthems that reverberate around stadiums at the start of every game, the new designs pay tribute to these iconic symphonies and the irreplaceable feelings of excitement and anticipation that come with them.
Set on a metallic silver background, the men’s iteration of the Official Match Ball integrates a single letter from the instantly recognisable chorus lyric – ‘THE CHAMPIONS’ – onto each of the 12 stars, in an opulent calligraphy style. Visual representations of the musical tones of the song interject the stars, in striking royal purple, red and blue – colours specifically chosen to represent the footballing royalty competing for the coveted UEFA Champions League trophy.
The introduction of a bespoke anthem for the UEFA Women’s Champions League in the 2021/22 season, marked the start of a new dawn for the tournament. In honour of that moment, the new design incorporates the lyrics of the song in two of the ball’s eye-catching star panels – creating a unique circular text pattern in bright orange. The remaining ten stars feature a wavy purple and pink print, curated using the same words from the anthem, but significantly enlarged to create an abstract and attention-grabbing look.
The UEFA Champions League anthem has been the competition’s soundtrack since 1992 and was written by English Composer and graduate of the Royal College of Music, Tony Britten. The three-minute song, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and sung by the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields Chorus, has two short verses and the famous chorus, with lyrics in UEFA’s three official languages: English, French and German.
The UEFA Women’s Champions League anthem was developed by global music agency MassiveMusic in collaboration with UEFA. The final version heard reverberating around stadiums across Europe is performed by the Groot Omroepkoor (Dutch Broadcasting Choir), with lyrics also in UEFA’s three official languages.
“Last season, we were spoiled with two tournaments that, again, reinforced just how special the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Women’s Champions League are, as football spectacles,” Matthew Davidson, Head of Brand Marketing Football at adidas said.
Over the years, the anthem has become a highly anticipated moment in the pre-match ritual which sets the scene for displays of football at the highest level. When it is heard, it evokes an unmistakable emotional reaction from players and fans – generating a sense of prestige and excitement. So, for this season’s Official Match Balls, we wanted to celebrate the important place these songs occupy in the game.”
The balls are optimised to cope with the demands of the modern game, incorporating a range of adidas performance technology – including a PRISMA surface texture which offers Europe’s finest players precision on the ball. The outer texture coating, found on all UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women’s Champions League Official Match Balls, offers secure grip and control on the ball while the thermally bonded seamless construction ensures the balls retain optimum shape to deliver ultimate performance on the pitch.
adidas’ on-going partnership with Common Goal will see 1% of all global net sales from adidas footballs – including these latest releases – contributing towards initiatives driving lasting social change for under-served communities, helping to create a better and more inclusive future through football.
The new Official Match Balls will be available to purchase from August 22nd via adidas stores, selected retail stores, and online at https://www.adidas.com/football-balls
Adidas contributed to this column