It used to be that you'd buy a pair of sneakers, put them on and throw out the box, and that would be it. OK, you might keep the box around for a while to store your baseball cards in, but there was nothing useful in the box itself except the shoes. Lately, though, sneaker makers seems to be learning from cereal companies like Kellogg and General Mills and are including a prize inside. New Balance, for instance, last month put a Polaroid of its sneaker inside every box of ultra-exclusive 574 Clips (only 480 pairs were made). On the backs of those pictures was a code where owners could go online to "claim" video footage of their exact pair of shoes, filmed at the factory or elsewhere. Now, Nike has done something similar this month with its CTR360 soccer boot. Each box contains not only a pair of the boots, but a unique code that the new owner can enter online to get coaching instruction from Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal and Andrés Iniesta of FC Barcelona, among others. While the online angle is fresh, the sneaker industry is actually catching up to Cracker Jack, which began putting prizes in its boxes in 1912.
—Posted by Todd Wasserman