According to Austin Malleolo, head of Reebok fitness facilities, the aim of this extraordinary plan to refurbish some of the most traditional components of the world’s urban landscapes is to create a future “where there is a zero barrier to entry for an opportunity to work out and be healthy.” Alfred Byun, designer at Gensler, adds to this that the project means to generate urban networks of “fitness oases” that people can frequent swiftly between their home and work.
Should this initiative indeed be realized, Reebok and Gensler may be able to raise citizens’ awareness when it comes to their personal health and wellness, potentially persuading them to work out and eat healthily more often. Voices saying this a bad thing will arguably be hard to find.
Yet, Reebok’s involvement in a project like this that significantly intends to transform urban spaces is something that might trigger the attention of more critical voices. Because why does a sports brand like Reebok want to attach its name to refurbished gas stations? Is it solely for the sake of creating healthier communities, or are marketing incentives actually stronger for the company? Seen in light of our earlier blogs on companies getting involved in delivering urban services and amenities in London, Charleroi, and Ghent, the Get Pumped campaign might as well be seen as a next example of brand urbanism.