adidas started developing high-performance match balls in 1963, when most balls were heavy, brown and painful to kick. When FIFA first commissioned adidas to provide the Official Match Ball for the 1970 FIFA World Cup™ in Mexico, the company had already become the world’s leading football brand.
For the 1970 FIFA World Cup™, adidas introduced the Telstar. Like all other balls in its time, the adidas Telstar was completely made of leather; however, unlike any other ball it featured 32 hand-stitched panels (12 black pentagons and 20 white hexagons), creating the roundest sphere of its time.
The revolutionary design of Telstar wrote football history: it was the first white football ever to be decorated with black pentagons. Mexico 1970 was the first live televised FIFA World Cup™ and the revolutionary design of Telstar - the name derives from “Star of Television” – made the ball far more visible on black and white television. Until this day, the adidas Telstar remains the archetype of all generic footballs.