The European Soccer Championship will start on 10 June 2016, but Germany’s World Champions and all the other kickers have had an opportunity since November 2015 to get familiar with its properties: the Beau Jeu, French for “beautiful game,” the official match ball of the European Football Championship 2016 from adidas. For the brand with the three stripes and Covestro, these games in France mark an anniversary: The two companies have been working together for 30 years developing balls and have accumulated a wealth of know-how along the way.
The outer shell consists of five layers based on Impranil PU raw materials from Covestro. (Picture: adidas)
According to the companies, the Beau Jeu incorporates the best elements of the Brazuca, the official match ball of the 2014 Soccer World Cup, but surpasses it in terms of grip and its properties in play. The improved ball control and stable flight characteristics of the Beau Jeu, but also its water resistance are all thanks to its outer shell. “The ball’s outer shell consists of a total of five layers based on polyurethane raw materials from our Impranil line,” said Thomas Michaelis, project manager for ball development at Covestro. “It starts with the outermost skin, a full underglass print that prevents abrasion of the printed layer.” The white surface decorated in the French national colours, blue, white and red is thus very durable.
The underlying intermediate layer protects the ball against external influences and lends it unusually high elasticity. Beneath that is a polyurethane foam with millions of microspheres that ensure outstanding flight characteristics, says Covestro. A polyurethane adhesive bonds the top layers to a special polyester-cotton fabric that serves as a substrate.
Incidentally, the Beau Jeu had its premiere in the world’s first digital soccer stadium, the adidas Future Arena in St. Denis, where computer-animated stands simulated 50,000 spectators. Fans can look forward to exciting matches and highly trained soccer stars, who will be hunting for goals with the Beau Jeu from 10 June to 10 July 2016.