Boot that spells loot in football's style wars

One World Cup battle will be fought in the high street. Melanie Rickey reports

ONE would have expected the announcement of the decade. It began with rousing orchestral music and the type of build-up usually reserved for the arrival of a movie star, but the assembled crowd were there to witness... the unveiling of a new football boot.

Paul Ince, Paul Gascoigne, Graeme Le Saux, Marc Overmars and Jurgen Klinsmann were on hand yesterday in the unlikely setting of London's Waterloo Station to sing its praises, but before they uttered their paid-for patter a gravelly- voiced announcer gave us some apparently helpful statistics.

"Thirty-two teams, 64 matches, 704 players, 12,000 volunteers, 2.5 million fans, 500 million viewers per game, 37 billion total viewers..." Yes? "And ..." We were hardly breathless. "One brand. Adidas."

We thought it was about a game involving a ball and 11 men, but Adidas seem to think that football - and, moreover, the World Cup - is about them.

True, they are a sponsor and designed the official World Cup match ball "with its unique syntactic foam", but it's the boot, oops, sorry, the Predator Accelerator, associated three-stripe sports clothing and, more importantly, the "contracted symbols" who wear it that Adidas are pinning their hopes on to bring in the money.

Ray Stubbs, the compere of the event, was the man to put the searching questions. "So, Jurgen," he asked. "How have you found your new Adidas Predator Accelerators?"

"Well, Ray, there has been great progress since the Predators were launched a few years ago. They give me a good feeling with the ball, especially with quick movements," he replied. Thanks, Jurgen. I couldn't see the script from where I was standing.

Ince said they were much thinner than the last Predators. Gazza didn't talk about them at all. He chatted briefly about how he might have to go to McDonald's for a scratchcard to get his tickets for World Cup matches.

Afterwards all five players walked off for a photocall holding the boots in their hands and posing cheesily for the cameras. Game over.

Ultimately, of course, Adidas hope these boots will become the next schoolboy (and grown-up schoolboy) "must-have" item in the "football chic" wars against Nike, Umbro and their other would-be rivals.

The price tag of pounds 120 is unlikely to put off potential buyers. Accelerators have already been placed in some carefully chosen football stores. Nigel Conway, proprietor of Soccer Scene on Carnaby Street in London, has already sold out of his first batch. "I can't believe kids can afford to spend pounds 120 on a pair of football boots," he said. They can if David Beckham - Adidas' star "brand symbol" - wears them.

Adidas would have us believe the boots can turn an average player into a great one. As we all know, however, Beckham and company could probably score in a pair of baseball boots if they were paid enough money to wear them.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Environment
Sudan, the last male northern white rhino
environmentThe death of a white northern rhino in Kenya has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth