THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

adidas launches its first urban football centre in India: The BASE – Plaza in New Delhi

adidas launches its first urban football centre in India: The BASE – Plaza in New Delhi (Photo courtesy: adidas)

adidas India announced the launch of its first ever urban football destination in India, The Base – Plaza in Chattarpur, New Delhi, to promote the sport at a grassroot level and provide football enthusiasts a world class football experience. The BASE has been designed keeping in mind the needs of the new age urban footballer and aims at redefining their playing experience. To kick off the inauguration on Saturday, February 4, present at the occasion were ace Indian cricketers and adidas athletes Rohit Sharma and K.L. Rahul along with former Nigerian FIFA World Cupper Rabiu Afolabi.

Spread across a sprawling 2.5 acres, the Base features two pitches – A natural pitch of 24,000 sq. ft. which can be split up into two small pitches for 5/6-a-side football and an artificial pitch of 9,000 sq. ft. The artificial pitch is made of the finest quality FIFA Recommended artificial turf and is ideal for professional and semi-professional use. It uses innovative 3D Rootzone technology with a face yarn of 10,000 denier XP + Slit Film, and 5,000 denier polylon as secondary fibre. This technology reduces strain on players’ knees and ankles, allowing them to move swiftly and quickly across the pitch, thereby minimising the risk of injuries. Each pitch has an individual Ace and X style dugout to ensure a stadium-like atmosphere for the urban football creators

Introducing international technology and innovation to the football creators and aspiring talent for the first time in India, adidas unveiled the miCoach Smart Ball. The smart ball’s unique sensor technology allows these creators to fine-tune their technique with instant feedback on attributes such as power, spin, strike and target.

Commenting on the launch, Hrishikesh Shende, Director Football, adidas India, said, “Football in India is growing rapidly with many young players aspiring to turn professional. We are extremely delighted to provide a world-class facility for the next generation of footballers. the BASE in Delhi will become a focal point of grassroots football and we are looking to take the concept to other metros this year.”

To further substantiate and celebrate the spirit of the sport, the BASE has five graffiti walls extending over 3,000 sq. ft. highlighting the brand’s iconic association with the sport through interesting street-art that celebrates its rich heritage in world football. From Adolf Dassler – Founder of adidas and the 1954 ‘Miracle of Bern’ World Cup winning team of West Germany on one wall to a wall with artistic representation of Legends vs Current all-stars on the other.

One wall illustrates the brand’s global icon and world’s celebrated footballer- Lionel Messi. A brilliant montage of Manchester United greats – both legends and playing stars feature on the fourth wall. The fifth wall has a classic artwork of the Base itself. The arena also has giant installation of the adidas Fracas (Euro 2016 Knockout-round Official Match Ball).

Present at the launch, Rohit Sharma, says, “adidas has been taking many significant initiatives to promote football in India. “the BASE” is a top-notch facility built to international standards and is ideal for young footballers to enjoy their football and nurture their skills.“I am a die-hard football fan myself and my love for Real Madrid makes the sport extremely close to my heart. As an athlete, I am very glad to be a part of such an initiative by adidas and invite all young football creators and lovers to experience this fantastic facility.”

Also present at the occasion, K.L. Rahul, says, “Football is my passion and Manchester United is the team I have been rooting for ever since I was introduced to the sport. I play football regularly in the off-season and during warm up before matches.“I have had the chance to tour “the BASE” and experience its facilities, which are second to none in India. It is indeed a great platform for young football creators and fans to experience the beautiful game in a thoroughly beautiful setting ”

Speaking on the launch and the growth of Indian football, former Nigerian World Cup and Champions League player, Rabiu Afolabi, says, “Football is like second nature and even after my retirement, I have been closely involved with the sport through football coaching and scouting for talent at junior levels. I am extremely honoured to be a part of adidas’ initiative to promote football in India. I strongly believe that the young talent in India has immense potential to make a mark on global football map and I look forward to my close involvement with the players through adidas.”

Representing Nigeria in the FIFA World Cup in 2002 and 2010, Afolabi also played a vital role for the country in the semis of the 1999 African Youth Championship by scoring two goals and taking the team to the finals. He has also been a first-team player for top European Clubs like Standard Liege and SSC Napoli.

Additionally, the BASE includes a variety of unique features made to give the footballers a 365-day 24×7 immersive football experience. The carefully designed walking paths allow easy and convenient movement for players as well as audience around the venue without disturbing the pitches. Other facilities include washrooms and changing rooms that are placed strategically to allow easy access from either pitches, F&B areas that have been created to cater to one’s energizing needs and a parking space for 150 cars.

With the launch of the Base, adidas strengthens its commitment to nurture football in India and build new avenues to inspire the youth. In the recent past, adidas held the FC Bayern Youth Cup India 2017 where legendary footballer Paul Breitner picked 10 best players to partake in the World Finals as Team India. Another initiative by the brand among many was the #FirstNeverFollows challenge wherein 5 players out of 8,200 consumers were selected by FC Pune City’s coaches and offered a week-long professional trial by the club, with the option of further extending a professional contract based on their performances during this week-long trial.

Located in the heart of the Capital, only 2 kms from Chattarpur Metro Station, the BASE is certainly set to become the Mecca for football creators and fans in Delhi-NCR and India.

(adidas Press Release)