Monday, August 15, 2005


Media - contact Dave Burch at AFA National Office
(877) 624-4485 or (941) 388-3510
(e-mail) (or)

Wilson Sporting Goods, the world’s largest manufacturers of professional footballs, has agreed to assist the American Football Association in their national fund raising efforts by offering semi-pro football teams the often hard to come by - NFL ‘blemished’ Game balls at special discount prices.

Game balls are always a big item on any semi-pro team’s yearly budget and a new Wilson NFL game ball can retail for as much as $98 apiece if purchased at a sporting goods store. While many semi-pro leagues still will require their teams to have a couple new NFL balls available for the start of each game, most teams find themselves in need of extra game balls during the season for practice and use as additional game balls during inclement weather conditions.

As a result of the AFA's semi-pro football convention and tradeshow in Chicago on June 4th, the AFA has entered into a partnership agreement with the Wilson Sporting Goods Company and will handle direct sales of Wilson’s NFL 'blem' game balls. Although the terms of the agreement were not disclosed the AFA will treat the purchasing arrangement as a national fund raiser for their 501C (3) non-profit corporation - while at the same time offering NFL 'blems' to adult amateur teams across the country for discounts as high as 65% off the suggested retail price.

Wilson manufactures well over one million footballs per year (about 5,000 per day), making it the largest producer of game footballs in the world. The manufacturing process of Wilson footballs involves approximately 50 steps from start to finish, with more than a dozen quality-control checks throughout production. With such a production process and such tight quality control in place to satisfy its largest customer, the National Football League, a small percentage of NFL branded footballs each year are declared 'blemished' by the eagle eyed Wilson inspectors - and set aside.

Keep in mind that the NFL labeled footballs marked “blem” have made it all the way through all the rigorous inspection stages. During the final inspection, each ball must meet quality standards in appearance, stitching, length, width, shape, weight, and end seams. It is at that point that the NFL balls are once again scrutinized for uniform consistency and appearance perfection. Even the slightest cosmetic blemish detected during the final Wilson inspection line will find that game ball not quite good enough to make it all the way to the NFL Pro teams. Those balls that don’t make the NFL’s final cut are marked “blem” and now are destined for an appearance with one of the many AFA semi-pro football organizations across the country.

Teams interested in ordering official Wilson NFL game ball "Blems" at a special AFA discount rate may do so by contacting the American Football Association at 941-388-3510 or downloading the NFL “blem” ball order form on one the AFA’s websites. or or
The Wilson NFL Official Game Ball “blem” can be purchased through this AFA fund-raising project for as low as $35 per ball when ordered in Six-packs. An additional $2 per ball must be added to each order for shipping & handling. AFA ?member team? orders will be shipped FREE (of S&H charges). See order form for additional information.

To expedite shipping time - place your NFL “blem” ball order by using a major credit card.
Click for Wilson NFL Blem Order Form

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