adidas took the opportunity of the draw for the MTN Africa Cup of Nations 2008 in Ghana to present the first Official Match Ball for the Cup, the adidas "wawa aba". In addition to the match balls for the FIFA World Cup™ and the UEFA EURO™, adidas thus now also supplies the ball for the Championship on the African continent.
The adidas "wawa aba" combines tradition and innovation and stands out due to its exceptionally strong African colouring. The ball also features the colours of the Ghanaian flag and complements the design with historical and cultural elements of Africa. Just like the +Teamgeist™ - Official Match Ball of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ - the adidas "wawa aba" is made of 14 panels produced with the revolutionary thermo bonding technology. Its flight features perfect characteristics which enable the player to optimally control the ball and to shoot with incredible precision.
For the Akan culture originating from Western Africa the name wawa aba is a symbol of persistence. People there particularly believe in the strength and team spirit of a community. The wawa aba is the seed of the wawa tree, one of the strongest and most processible woods of Africa. For the population, the wawa aba mainly has mystical significance. These are people who don’t let failure discourage them, who seize all opportunities successfully and who are thus just as strong and adaptable as the wawa aba.
"In recent years, football in Africa experienced outstanding growth and the Africa Cup has become one of the most important continental championships worldwide. Therefore, we are pleased that the African Cup of Nations is now also played with a specially designed adidas Ball. This impressively underlines our position as the number one football brand on all continents", said Erich Stamminger, President and CEO of the adidas brand.
"During the past few years, adidas and the Confederation of African Football have continuously expanded their relationship and in the course of time our partnership has reached an exceptional level. The Match Ball specifically designed for the Africa Cup adds a new dimension to the excellent cooperation with adidas. Our company and the entire football community of Africa are proud of the magnificent "wawa aba", the first Official Match Ball for the MTN Africa Cup of Nations featuring a design inspired by African elements," said Issa Hayatou, CAF President.
With this activity, adidas is adding another component to its engagement in Africa. In addition to its involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations, adidas is the Official Supplier of nine African nations: Nigeria, South Africa, Burundi, Eritrea, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritania, the Seychelles and Swaziland.
The experience of adidas in football production is unequalled. adidas first began the production of footballs in 1963 and is now the world's leading manufacturer, always at the cutting edge of technology. adidas has supplied the Official Match Balls for all major UEFA and FIFA tournaments since 1970 and from 2008 is now also the Official Supplier of the Match Ball for the African Cup of Nations.
adidas will continue to apply innovative technologies to further expand its leadership in the football market worldwide. This will solidify adidas’ position as the authentic symbol of high-performance equipment for both professional and amateur players alike. Moreover, adidas also already looks forward to presenting revolutionary ball innovations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa.