The Pokemon Go craze is sweeping the nation, its popularity skyrocketing from the very day of its launch on July 6, 2016. The mobile app created by Niantic and Nintendo has smashed records nonstop, and is trending on almost every chart at unheard rates. According to this infographic on Pokemon worldwide stats, the userbase is already at 21 million players, and is still growing! In fact, it’s amazingly quick growth has grabbed the attention of top businesses, who spotted unique profit and marketing opportunities in utilizing it for advertising, promotions, and some more off the wall approaches. Some of them stand out above the rest of the pack, and have been wildly successful.
L’Inizio Pizza Bar
One of the biggest features of Pokemon Go are the PokeStops — a virtual hotspot for any player that corresponds with real life locations. Players can “spin” the stops for free items, or place a Lure, that causes dozens of Pokemon to start showing up in the immediate area for up to 30 minutes. L’inizio’s manager, Sean Benedetti noticed how many people were playing the game, and that their restaurant also happened to have a PokeStop set up at their business. He bought $10 worth of the lures, and watched as sales rocketed up by 75 percent. Benedetti told the NY Post in an interview “We had people come down, sit down and get a couple beers and play the Pokémon game.”
T-Mobile, Lyft, and Wendy’s
T-mobile’s CEO made waves with a shocking announcement on Twitter that all T-mobile customers would be getting a Pokemon Go Perks package, brought to them by a partnership between the carrier company, Lyft, and Wendy’s. Including deals such as free unlimited data on Pokemon Go usage (limited to a year), free Lyft rides, a free Wendy’s Frosty, store sales, and a contest to win a free Pokemon hunting trip. T-mobile stores quickly sold out of accessories after the announcement, and their company app saw a large increase in download numbers.
It took less than a week for McDonald’s to jump onto the Pokemon train. A veteran of the Pokemon promotions, McDonald’s has previously run Pokemon toys and cards for their Happy Meals. So, it wasn’t much of a surprise when several intrepid gamers delved deep into the Pokemon Go code and discovered that there was already a deal in the works between McDonald’s and the companies. The deal was made official in late July, and by August, McDonald’s announced a sponsor deal that will turn all of their franchise locations into Pokemon Go “Gyms”. Pokemon Go Gyms are a more upgraded form of PokeStop, encouraging players to fight and battle for control of real world locations. Currently the promotion is limited to Japan, but the two companies hope to extend the promotion worldwide, to take advantage of the growing player base.
Every day, the list of people that board the Pokemon Go bandwagon grows. With Niantic announcing that businesses will soon be able to purchase sponsorships and PokeStops for themselves, the opportunity grows only more golden. The news only brings one question: how will you take advantage of the Pokemon Go craze?