Nike today announces a ball that is not only innovative but is destined to change the game. 

Nike Flight is a football that addresses issues of inconsistent aerodynamics through a revolutionary ball design. Incorporating Nike’s new AerowSculpt technology, the ball delivers a measurable benefit of 30% truer flight than its Nike predecessor.

The Nike Flight ball concludes an eight-year investigation into improving consistency of football flight by the Nike Equipment Innovation Lab. The insights from players are addressed in three stages: Explore, Recreate and Innovate.


The Explore phase utilised several tracking systems to measure ball flight of different types of kicks through-out game play. This helped the Lab to understand what conditions the ball experiences during play, and allowed engineers to link quantifiable measurements to elite players.


Within the recreate phase, the Lab replicated the kick types observed on pitch, and utilised a robotic leg to replicate a variety of kicks observed in a repeatable and quantifiable way. This process allowed the ability to measure small differences in performance between balls and gather a suite of quantifiable tests to innovate against.


Within the controlled environment, the Lab was able to test innovative ideas around aerodynamics, constructions and materials. Testing of the Nike Flight ball covered 68 different iterations over thousands of hours in the Lab. Additionally, over 800 professional athletes participated in field testing validation before a final version was reached.


A Historic Look Back at Nike Football Innovation

“Everything done at the Lab is rooted in science,” says Kieran Ronan, Nike Senior Director for Global Equipment. “Here, we are able to detect small differences in performance that may not be perceivable to most athletes, but when those small differences are iterated upon 68 times, the result is a noticeable leap in performance.” “The construction started with a square shaped Aerotrack groove. Over the course of the 68 iterations, we modified the shape of the groove, added sculpted chevrons, and explored multiple features throughout to deliver one geometric pattern that helps promote a more stable flight,”

The Nike Flight Ball is released today.



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