Pokemon GO developer Niantic announces it’s expanding its PokeStop and Pokemon Gym partnership with Starbucks to an additional 5,000 locations in the United States.
There’s little doubt that Pokemon GO was one of the most successful games last year. The mobile exploration game generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for developer Niantic, and was revealed to be the most downloaded app on the entire Apple App Store in 2016.
So it comes as no surprise that Niantic is looking to extend the life and success of Pokemon GO by partnering with major brands around the nation. One of the most high-profile relationships for Niantic is with coffee chain Starbucks, which has now added 5,000 stores to its initial 7,800 store collaboration with the Pokemon GO developer.
According to Niantic, this brings the total number of Starbucks locations becoming PokeStop or Gyms to an impressive 12,800, which is more than half the total number of worldwide Starbucks locations. While Starbucks doesn’t provide details on how many stores it has in the United States, it’s safe to say Pokemon GO now has a significant enough presence that nearly anyone in the country looking to check in to a Starbucks PokeStop or Gym can do so.
The move is a smart marketing play on the part of Niantic, since it keeps players involved in the game as they go about their normal daily activities. Niantic CEO, John Hanke, previously shared the reasoning behind the company’s decision to partner with Starbucks and other retail chains. Hanke said:
“The physical locations component of the collaboration is important to us as we look for ways to use technology to encourage exploration, exercise and real world social interaction, and Starbucks’ footprint throughout the U.S. provides an awesome platform.”
In addition to Starbucks, Niantic also has relationships with Sprint stores around the United States that act as PokeStops and Gyms. In Japan, the developer has partnered with McDonald’s to offer rewards for visiting locations. Niantic also has plans to expand these relationships to other retailers this year.
As part of the collaboration with Niantic, Starbucks created a special Pokemon GO Frappuccino, and could potentially create a full line of Pokemon GO drinks and specials. Other retail partners will undoubtedly follow that example.
The success of Pokemon GO continues to astound both gamers and analysts. Many expected the game to continue rapidly bleeding players after its initial success, but thanks to updates and recently introduced new content, it seems the game is flourishing well, at least well enough to land impressive sponsors and partnerships.
What do you think about Starbucks adding new locations to its Pokemon GO collaboration?
Pokemon GO is available now on Android and iOS devices.