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Adidas Telstar: the FIFA World Cup match ball

Adidas had 'mixed' commercial success at the 1970 Mexico FIFA World Cup: they got duped by PUMA in the "Pele Pact", but set a new precedent: providing the FIFA World Cup matchball. The Adidas matchball used at the 1970 Mexico FIFA World Cup was named the Telstar; aka "Television Star ball" or the "Telstar satellite ball". The matchball was made iconic through the use of black and white segments - shown below - which were used to make the ball more visible for television viewers. The design was also inspired by the Telstar satellite: the Telstar satellite was the first satellite to provide a live transatlantic television feed, and was the satellite used to provide a feed back to European countries during the 1970 Mexico FIFA World Cup.

Telstar 1970, the ball used at the Mexico FIFA 1970 World Cup, which was won by Brazil, in a final versus Italy. telstar, used at a number of fifa world cups, like 1970, 1974, 1978 The Telstar satellite, which inspired the design of the Telstar football. Telstar satellite

The Telstar proved to be hugely success, it's black and white segment design has become iconic: typically used in cartoons and drawings when conveying a football. The Telstar was also used at the 1970 West German FIFA World Cup; only the Adidas Telstar and Adidas Tango have been used at two or more FIFA World Cups. The pictures above display the 1970 and 1974 versions of the Telstar; as can be seen, the balls contain a virtually identical design. The 1974 Telstar incorporated a polymer coating to make it waterproof.

The success of the Telstar persuaded Adidas to provide the matchball for every future FIFA World Cup. Adidas matchballs have been used at the: 1970 Mexico FIFA World Cup; 1974 West Germany FIFA World Cup; 1978 Argentina FIFA World Cup; 1982 Spain FIFA World Cup; 1986 Mexico FIFA World Cup; 1990 Italy FIFA World Cup; 1994 United States of America FIFA World Cup; 1998 France FIFA World Cup; 2002 Japan and South Korea FIFA World Cup; 2006 Germany FIFA World Cup; 2010 South Africa FIFA World Cup; and the 2014 Brazil FIFA World Cup.