Nike releases new Premier League ball: Groove is in the heart

The Premier League is back, and the title has already been clinched by Liverpool, but that hasn’t stopped Nike from launching their brand-new official match ball for next season.

The Nike Flight ball will be used in the top flight for the 2020-21 campaign, with Nike promising that its strange grooved design will help it fly “30% truer” than its predecessor, the Merlin.

Merlin had “Nike Aerowtrack grooves specifically engineered on the ball to ensure a more consistent flight path,” but this one takes it a step further. Way more groovy.

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The new Flight ball now uses Aerowsculpt technology, which consists of four panels fused together, meaning 40% fewer stiff seams than a traditional 12-panel ball and a more prominent sweet spot — at least according to the accompanying blurb.

“Nike AerowSculpt uses a patented technology of molding features into the surface of the ball, which are designed to improve aerodynamics and act in a similar fashion to the dimples on a golf ball,” it reads.

“Testing of the Nike Flight ball covered 68 different iterations over thousands of hours in the Lab. Additionally, more than 800 professional athletes participated in field testing validation before a final version was reached.”

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That’s worth remembering when we’re watching panic-stricken centre-backs belting desperate clearances into the upper rows and relegation fodder slinging high ball after high ball into their elbow-happy target man next season.

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