The newly-unveiled match ball to be used at the FIFA Women’s World Cup has been designed to reflect the cultures of host countries New Zealand and Australia.
The ball, made by adidas, has been given the name OCEAUNZ and its design pays homage to the mountains of Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia’s connection with the Indian Ocean.
The ball features designs by Aboriginal artist, Chern’ee Sutton, and Māori artist, Fiona Collis. Their art is also part of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 brand identity, Beyond Greatness™.
Main photo: The ball on display at Auckland’s waterfront. Credit: FIFA.
The ball was launched in spectacular fashion, with a four-metre replica carried by a helicopter above Sydney’s skyline.
Sports stars, including All Black great Dan Cartner, swimmer Ian Thorpe and Australian canoeing champion Jess Fox, attended the launch of the ball in Marks Park Tamarama, which had been transformed into a giant football pitch.
Speaking about the launch of OCEAUNZ, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said:
“adidas has created an iconic Official Match Ball for the FIFA Women’s World Cup that reflects diversity, inclusivity and togetherness, fitting themes for the first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup to be co-hosted by two different countries from different confederations.
“This edition of the tournament will be extremely special and the rich cultures of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, as evoked on OCEAUNZ, are certain to take the experience of visiting fans and teams #BeyondGreatness.”
The ball’s name reflects the coming together of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand as host nations of the tournament.
OCEAUNZ features the same connected ball technology as was seen in Qatar at the FIFA World Cup 2022. This provides precise ball data, which will be made available to video match officials in real-time.
Combined with player position data and by applying artificial intelligence, the innovative connected ball technology contributes to FIFA’s semi-automated offside technology and offers Video Assistant Referees instantaneous information to help optimise decision-making.
- CTR-CORE – a ground-breaking core within the ball that is designed to improve accuracy and consistency, supporting fast, precise play with maximum shape and air retention.
- SPEEDSHELL – The ball’s polyurethane (PU) skin features micro and macro textures and a new 20-piece panel shape, enhancing aerodynamics.
- CONNECTED BALL TECHNOLOGY – A Suspension System in the centre of the ball hosts and stabilises a 500Hz inertial measurement unit (IMU) motion sensor, providing unprecedented insight into every element of the movement of the ball. The sensor is powered by a rechargeable battery, which can be charged by induction.
- OCEAUNZ will be available to purchase in adidas stores, at selected retailers and online at www.adidas.com/football.