The streets of New York have featured a mysterious guest recently. Popping up at random locations without warning, the Nike FuelBox is a pop-up vending machine which allows you to exclusively trade NikeFuel for company gear.
The concept of trading fuel for gear relies on Nike Fuel. Previously used only for tracking personal achievements and goals, the fuel points you gain by doing exercise can now be traded in for merchandise. The FuelBox machine adds a new dimension to the NikeFuel concept. By earning physical rewards NikeFuel becomes a currency as well as a points system.
To keep people on their toes, Nike does not release the details of the FuelBox’s next location, but rather relies on social media and word of mouth to gain interest. Tweets hint at the next pop-up location, and then rumours spread the exact details of where the vending machine has appeared next. Current suggestions imply that the FuelBox is not limited to NYC, but will also pop up in other cities around the world.
If you’ve earned 500 or more points of NikeFuel, you can trade them in at the vending machine for gear such as socks and T shirts, or even a Nike+ SportWatch GPS as one follower tweeted. Whilst free kit as a reward for exercise may seem lucrative, the scheme is still exclusively benefiting Nike. The gear can be claimed only with the new Nike+ FuelBands, currently priced at $149. The FuelBand app also creates an exclusive system benefitting the Nike brand.
The emphasis is on being on the move, with Nike tweeting “Keep moving, you never know where we’ll be next.” The idea is to encourage constant movement, to be constantly prepared for wherever the vending machine is going to pop up next. Crucially, it only accepts points collected on your FuelBand from that day, rather than total points you’ve collected over time. To be able to benefit from the spontaneous appearances of the vending machine you have to be continually moving and always ready to cash in your points, wherever you may be.