By Gary Anderson

January 6 - The IKF has announced Mikasa as its official match ball supplier in a new four-year deal ©IKFJapanese sports firm Mikasa Corporation has renewed its partnership with the International Korfball Federation (IKF) and will supply all match balls for its top events for the next four years.

The new agreement began on January 1, 2014, and runs until January 1, 2018.

It follows on from a similar four-year deal which expired on December 31, 2013.

All major IKF events including World Championships, regional championships and IKF World Cups will use the Mikasa K5-IKF match ball.

"Both Mikasa and IKF strive to achieve the maximum quality in what we do," said IKF senior vice-President Frans Walvis.

"Korfball benefits from the high quality product that Mikasa delivers.

"For the past four years, the Mikasa K5-IKF, which was a bold step forward from previous ball designs, has helped project korfball as a unique, dynamic and innovative sport.

"Our players appreciate and enjoy the handling characteristics and aesthetics of the ball, which quickly became an integral part of our sport's image.

"We are delighted that Mikasa has agreed to continue the relationship, and we look forward to working together to further enhance korfball as a sporting and spectator experience."

Head-quartered in Hiroshima, Mikasa has been a ball-supplier for a number of sports since its foundation almost 100 years ago and has been particularly associated with football, basketball, handball, water polo and volleyball.

It was the official volleyball supplier for the London 2012 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and has been the official game ball supplier for all International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) volleyball and beach volleyball competitions since 2013.

Mikasa were the official ball suppliers for the volleyball competitions at London 2012 ©Getty Images Mikasa were the official ball suppliers for the volleyball competitions at London 2012
©Getty Images

In March last year, the International Aquatics Federation (FINA) also extended its deal with Mikasa which sees the firm supply water polo balls for all FINA-sanctioned competitions through until 2016 which took in the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona and will cover the next Championships set to take place in Kazan in 2015.

"Mikasa Corporation is exceedingly honoured in being able to renew the contract and its partnership with IKF, supporting their international korfball events and promoting the growth of the sport of korfball all over the world by providing all the people the right products for the sport," said a statement from the firm.

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