Friday, March 06, 2009

Innovation of Soccer Ball Beyond Round? Bring in Noaz Safari Sportz

How do you innovate on a soccer ball? That was my question this morning and jokingly I put out there that "round is round." I did have a friend comment that you could provide texture to the ball, which conceptually would be an innovation. Other than the goalie, texture would likely go unnoticed as most players would have their boot on ;)

So how do you innovate on a soccer ball? Manufactures have designed a plethora of balls that are just that: innovations. From different outter covering types (leathers, synthetics), to stitching (hand vs. machine) to glues, to padding. Even the bladders of balls are different (I admittedly had never paid attention to this detail before this morning). If that was not enough, soccer balls come in 3 regulation sizes to fit the growing strength, size and development of the players.

With all the differing types of balls on the market, what attracts a buyer into purchasing one ball over another? Obviously there is marketing data out there (to which I'm not privy), and I'm sure there could be scientific clues as to what invokes a passion for one product vs another. All that aside, an average player will likely look at a ball and choose based on color, pattern and some visual connection they make with the product.

Keeping eye candy as a selection criteria in mind, I'd like to showcase a friend's new business and product line: Noaz Safari Sportz (http://noazsafarisportz.com). I met with the founder and owner of the business this morning at a local coffee shop (yup, I had my hot chocolate ;) and went through the basic concepts of the business and personally viewed the product prototypes. The business is built on Christian values of integrity and honesty, touting they bring a "rainbow of promise" to children as far as they can reach. They're plan is to create a profit share with organizations as marketing/distributing channels. The design of the product was realized by their son (my former soccer player), Chase. The company is in a unique and specific market that will allow them to propogate Christ's goodness and bring excitement, uniqueness and enjoyment to the sport I love.

Will the product be a competition level product? Not likely. In fact, they're touting it as a training product. But all that remains to be seen. Will the product rise above mere fashion and eye candy? With the hand-stitched product, quality seems pre-eminant in the minds of the owners and if the product were marketed as just fashion it would likely fail. I see this product having a good run at the market.

How can you contribute or get more information about the product? Feel free to contact me personally or go straight to http://noazsafarisportz.com/657.html for more contact information. I'm hoping after talking with the owner this morning, he'll venture into a product site on Facebook and show the power of social networking.

Good luck Noaz Safari Sportz! Looks like you have a winning product concept on your hands. May the Lord bless you through it's development and guide you into the channels were you can be of the most value in His hands!



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