Research & Development

ICON has been binding the tradition of craftsmanship with the demands of research and development. Our goal is to not just meet, but surpass FIFA standards.

Our soccer balls are poked repeatedly and pressed for hours to test water resistance. We test to see how resilient our material is and whether the surface is too slippery. We use specialized computers to measure each ball to make sure it is perfectly round. We heat-test each ball to simulate how they will be after two years. We test our balls in our shooting machine, where each ball is kicked repeatedly by a shooting machine more than 3,500 times, and we even test them in a machine that simulates headers.

Hand-Stitched – this allows for deeper seams, protecting the stitching. This benefits the longevity and playability of the exterior of the ball. ICON uses a 5-ply polyester thread on all of our hand-stitched balls.

Thermally-Bonded – this is a high-end process in which balls are produced with an innovative thermal-bonding production technique. Balls are heat-sealed, with fewer panels and a more aerodynamic seam pattern. Thermal Bonding provides consistent quality and performance from one ball to the next. ICON incorporates slightly deeper seams using the thermal bonding method, maintaining perfect water resistance and improving the balls’ playability. Since 1996, all World Cup balls have been manufactured using the thermal bonding process.

Machine Stitched – ICON does not machine-stitch any of our balls because this is a fast and inexpensive method more commonly used for low-end balls. Seams aren’t as deep meaning the stitching isn’t as protected. Exposed seams will stretch and potentially tear.

ICON has the highest quality product line of any Soccer Ball. Furthermore, it has always been our goal to maintain full ownership and control of our own product line. Achieving this without strong Research & Development is not possible. ICON not only meets, but exceeds FIFA standards to maintain the best quality product available.