The Premier League's New Flight Ball: A History of PL Balls

The Premier League's New Flight Ball: A History of PL Balls

Following Nike’s release of the Premier League’s new Flight Ball, the upcoming campaign will be the 22nd season that the American brand has been the provider of match balls for the English top-flight, going as far back as the Mitre Pro Max in 1992.

The latest of the Flight Ball series uses a more modernised pattern, as it is more fluid around the sphere of the individual panels, with Nike also updating the Flight graphic to represent the landscape of the Premier League in 2021. Nike have used a colour scheme of a white base, a black cage with crimson circles overlapping the panels of the ball.

The new Premier League ball for the 2021/22 season will be the 18th in Premier League history, due to the first five footballs all being used for more than one season each between 1992 and 2008 before Nike’s Total Omni ball was released, becoming the first design in the history of Premier League balls to last just one campaign.

1992-1995: Mitre Pro Max

The Mitre Pro Max was the first football ever to be used in the Premier League and it had a fairly modest design, with very little colour and creativity on it, as it was predominantly white, with an orange ‘V’ patterns on it. This is a classic football due to its basic design, which perhaps signals a sign of the time, as the Premier League brand was just starting up.

1995-2000: Mitre Ultimax

Again, it was another Mitre ball that would follow, as Nike released the new Premier League ball back in 1995 for the start of the 1995/96 season of which Blackburn Rovers were the defending champions at the time.

The Mitre Ultimax is the longest-serving ball in the history of the Premier League, having lasted all the way up to the start of the millennium. This ball is more branded than the first of the Premier League series, as it has the official Premier League logo on it, rather than in writing, as well as the fact that it has colours that are symbolic of England’s Football League system in red and blue on the ‘V’ patterns.

2000-02: Nike Geo Merlin and Geo Merlin Vapor

2000 saw the most drastic change in Premier League footballs to date, as eventually Nike left the brand Mitre behind and chose to name this ball as the Geo Merlin and Geo Merlin Vapor, with its logo taking the middle of the ball, with the Premier League logo just above the symbolic tick.

This football was said to be the “roundest ball ever” at the time of its release, as the Geo technology allowed the ball to be pumped out into a circular shape, whereas the Mitre balls had leather panelling, whilst the Vapor model was also said to have reduced drag on shot power.

henry

2004-2006: Nike Total 90 Aerow I

As Arsenal entered the 2004/05 season as Premier League champions for the last time in their history having gone a season unbeaten, the Nike Total 90 Aerow made itself known, as the Total 90 era kicked off with Nike’s Brazil versus Portugal commercial.

At this period of time, it had become common for national sides, most notably, the two mentioned above to have their shirt numbers in a ring on the front of their shirts, this was also common on players boots with the Total 90 brand growing quickly as the latest trend in football fashion. According to Nike, the ring pattern was introduced on the football so that players could see the spin of the ball clearly, Chelsea would go on to win both league titles whilst this ball was in use.

Rooney

2006-2008: Nike Total Aerow II & 2008/09: Nike Total 90 Omni

At the start of the 2006/07 season, Manchester United were looking for a new lease of life under Sir Alex Ferguson, having not won the league title since 2003 following their dominance between the start of the Premier League era until then, they would go on to win three league titles in a row between 2006 and 2009, whilst Nike completely changed their design from the initial Total 90 design to one with an asymmetrical blue pattern between 2006 and 2008, before switching it up to red and embedding the iconic Nike swoosh in the design for the first-ever time.

ball

2009/2010: Nike Total 90 Ascent

The 2009/10 season Nike Total 90 Ascent ball is perhaps the most complex design in the history of Premier League balls until the Premier League ball of 2021/22.

Having had such a simplistic pattern, Nike developed what was a nice-looking football, but, it was very busy to look at, as the American company used micro-texture and ‘RaDar’ technology on the design of the ball before eventually stripping the ball back to more simple patterns for the upcoming 2010/11 season.

Steven Gerrard Wayne Rooney

2010/2011: Nike Total 90 Tracer, 2011/2012: Nike Seitiro & 2012/13: Nike Maxim

As mentioned above, Nike’s Total 90 Tracer ball was a much more basic design than the previous season’s, however, it is a classic ball, as Nike used their trademark colour of Volt green on the ball.

The Nike Seitiro saw them opt for a more electronic look with some cool looking patterns coupled with a vibrant colour scheme of light blue, dark blue, black and orange and will be forever remembered by Manchester City fans for the Aguero goal against QPR in the dying moments of the final day of the 2011/12 season that saw City win their first league title since 1968 ahead of rivals Manchester United.

Meanwhile, the 2012/13 design for the Nike Maxim is very much a hybrid of the two previous mentioned balls, with Nike using a ‘fractulated’ glass look for the pattern.

rooney

2013/14: Nike Incyte

The Nike Incyte is the next ball to feature, which was a purple and orange colour scheme that kicked off the start of Nike’s current era of using more and more creative colour designs.

Steven Gerrard

2014-2018: Nike Ordem Era

Between the years 2014 and 2018, Nike released four different types of Nike Ordems for each season, starting with the Ordem 2. Nike’s new ball was deemed revolutionary, as they used fluorescent colours over the grooves of the ball, with some of them even being welded.

For the start of the 2015/16 season, Nike decided to make the grooves jet black, going for traditional hexagon shapes with the ball fading from red to white. Their black grooves idea from the Ordem 3 was then turned into a caged look with larger hexagons on the Ordem 4 and Ordem I, with firstly a “Flow Motion” pattern on the initial ball, before putting a red ring around the ball for the following season that would underlap the dark cage, whilst bring back fluorescent flickers to the ball for the 2017/18 campaign.

Sergio Aguero Manchester City

2018-2020: Nike Merlin Returns

The start of the 2018/19 season saw the return of the Nike Merlin, which saw a drastic change in terms of design and the colour scheme of the ball, as for the initial season, they re-shaped the cage look and added an equaliser pattern that had become prominent on various different kits they manufactured, with the base of the ball being white, whilst the pattern was sky blue and fluorescent yellow.

Nike’s design for the start of the 2019/20 season completely changed, as they made the ‘Tunnel Vision’ ball which is in the same colour scheme as last season’s Nike Flight ball, as well as releasing a smart-looking retro winter ball inspired by their Total 90 days to mark 20 years of producing balls for the Premier League.

Eden Hazard Chelsea

2020/21: Nike Flight

The Premier League ball which was used last season also has the same colour scheme as the 2019/20 ball, as well as the Premier League ball in the 2021/22 season, as Nike have evidently opted to use a colour scheme of black, white and orange. “In flight-instrumentation” was used to make this ball, as well as there being “Angular Chevrons” around a reshaped cage and this pattern has been used to signify that the Premier League is the fastest league in the world. The 2020/21 Premier League ball is thought to have a 30% truer flight than that of the previous season.


⚽️ GET £30 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU PLACE A £10 BET ⚽️
New customers only. First single & e/w bet only odds of 1/1 or greater. 3 x £10 bet tokens. Free bet stakes are not included in returns. Free bets are only redeemable on football. Free bets are non-withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions and further t&cs apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus
🟢 Bet £10 & Get £50 in free bets! 🟡
For new customers. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔸 BET £10 AND GET £30 IN FREE BETS! 🔸
New Customer offer. Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
Claim Bonus
⚽️ BET £10 & GET £40 IN FREE BETS! (MOBILE ONLY) ⚽️
Sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more and we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets. By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below. See full terms below.
Claim Bonus
⚽️ UP TO £50 MONEY BACK AS CASH IF ANY OF YOUR FIRST 5X £10 FOOTBALL BETS LOSE ⚽️
Place 5x£10 Sportsbook bets on any market at minimum odds of 2.0 (Evs), and get money back as Cash if it loses. Max refund per qualifying bet is £10 (up to £50 in total). Only deposits made via Cards will be eligible for the promotion (Apple Pay excluded). T&Cs apply
Get Offer
🔷 GET £30 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £10 🔷
Full T&C’s Apply. New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. 18+ BeGambleAware.org.
Claim Bonus
🟠 BET £10 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS! 🟠
*New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from crediting (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org
CLAIM HERE
🔴 GET £20 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £5 🔴
18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £/€5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £/€5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
✅ BET £10 & GET £30 IN FREE BETS ✅
New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔹 GET £30 IN BONUSES WHEN YOU BET £5 🔹
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply, see below. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
✅ GET A FREE BET UP TO £35 + 10 FREE SPINS ✅
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free online casino spins at QuinnCasino. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org
Claim Bonus
BET £5 & GET £30 IN BONUSES
18+ New Customers opt in, bet £5 & get 2x £10 Free Bets for set events (odds 2.00+) + £10, Slots Bonus, selected games, 35x wagering to withdraw max £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card Payments only. T&Cs Apply, see below. | begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
🎉 BET £10 & GET £60 FREE BETS! 🎉
New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+). First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🟢 UP TO £40 MONEY BACK AS BONUSES + A £10 CASINO BONUS 🟢
18+ begambleaware.org. New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first sports bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. Visit Unibet.co.uk for full T&C's. #Ad
Claim Bonus
🔵 BET £10 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS + ACCA REWARDS OF YOUR CHOICE! 🔵
New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile exclusive. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. Free bet applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. 30 days to qualify. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. 1 Free Bet offer per customer, household & IP Address only. 18+. T&C's Apply **18+. Choose either Boost or Insurance. Available for in-play/pre-match bets on selected sports. You cannot use specials, boosts, any free bet or any other promotion. A minimum of 5 selections and minimum odds of 1/5 per selection/leg to receive Acca Rewards. Minimum stake of £/€0.05. Max free bet refund of £/€20 per Acca for Insurance. Maximum bonus payout is €/£1,000 per Acca for boost. Free bets, cashed out or voided bets will not qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
♥️ GET £40 FREE PLAY PLUS A £10 FREE SPORTS BET! ♥️
1st time depositors only. Min. deposit £10. Use code FAPOKER. Free Play given as cash, Spin & Go tickets, and a Sports Free Bet over 6 days. Tickets expire after 24 hours. Withdrawal restricted during bonus period. Terms apply.
Claim Bonus
🔵 GET £20 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £5 🔵
18+ New UK & ROI Customers only. Min deposit £5. Min first £5 bet at minimum odds 1/2 to qualify for 1x 20 free bet. Certain deposit methods and bet types excl. Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
⚫️ GET A £30 MATCHED FREE BET IF YOUR FIRST FOOTBALL ACCA LOSES!!!! ⚫️
*New UK customers only. Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Debit card deposits only. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 18+ BeGambleAware.org Full terms apply.
Claim Bonus