With the 2019 campaign set to kick off this weekend, U SPORTS announced Thursday that Nike Team has been named the Official Soccer Ball of U SPORTS for the next five seasons.
Through national team distributor T. Litzen Sports, the partnership will see the Nike Merlin ball become the official soccer ball of the U SPORTS Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships until 2023.
The Nike Magia ball will also be recognized as an acceptable match play ball for competitions leading up to the U SPORTS Championships that may include action in Canada West (CW), Ontario University Athletics (OUA), Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) and Atlantic University Sport (AUS).
“It is a privilege to provide U SPORTS student-athletes the same ball that is utilized by other elite organizations across the planet,” expressed T. Litzen Sports national sales manager Ryan Denholm. “We look forward to watching the 101 university soccer teams compete this fall, and supporting them on their quest for a U SPORTS championship.”
Widely-recognized amongst some of the world’s top leagues, the Nike Merlin ball has been the official match ball of Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A, as well as the English Premier League, which it has supplied for the last 20 years.
The Nike Merlin ball is also the official soccer ball of Canada Soccer and Canada’s National Teams, as well as and the Canadian Premier League (CPL), where 21 U SPORTS development players were drafted for the inaugural 2019 season.
"Soccer is the sport with the highest participation among our membership, featuring 53 women's teams and 48 men's teams,” said U SPORTS President and CEO Graham Brown. “We are excited to provide the highest quality balls to our members used at the elite levels of the sport across the world, as well as here at home. We look forward to a great relationship with Nike Team, and our soccer programs across Canada.”
The 2019 U SPORTS Men’s Soccer Championship will be hosted by the Montreal Carabins – who will look to defend their title on home field at CEPSUM – while the 2019 U SPORTS Women’s Soccer Championship will be hosted by the Victoria Vikes at Centennial Stadium.
Click the links below for further schedule information.