Tuesday, February 28, 2017

On This Day: Innova Pulsar Chosen as MLU Official Disc

On this day (February 28) in 2013, Major League Ultimate named the Innova Pulsar as the official disc of the MLU. The inaugural MLU season started on April 20, 2013.
Using a different brand for the essential equipment piece is commonplace. Here are two examples:

NCAA / Men's College Basketball
 In college basketball's big conferences, there were 7 different brands of basketballs in 2015. Shoe and apparel contracts often dictate what basketballs are in stock at a school. The most popular basketball is Nike followed by Wilson, Adidas, Under Armour and Spalding (the official ball for the NBA). The differing basketballs give a "distinct advantage" for the home team.
Chart via Fay Observer

In the Premier League, the official 2016-17 ball is Nike Ordem 4; Major League Soccer's official match ball is Adidas NATVIO.


MLU's business decision to go with Pulsar seemed justified. MLU would benefit from having a new flying disc product to entice plastic addicts, plus have an established partner to advertise and promote the league.

USA Ultimate approved the Pulsar disc at the General Level. Though, the Innova Pulsar as an ultimate disc was generally not a popular decision in the ultimate community.

The initial Pulsar customer reviews were so-so; the reviews on Amazon are better, The Pulsar's 175-gram design was different than Discraft, so a learning curve was to be expected.  Interestingly, a survey of MLU players showed that just over half "liked the Pulsar better or saw no difference." Not quite a ringing endorsement for a pass-happy sports league.

The Innova Pulsar remained the official disc of all four seasons of Major League Ultimate.

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