Pokémon Go players jonesing for more pokéstops, gyms, and a trip to their local Sprint stores are in luck. Pokémon Go developer Niantic announced today that Sprint will be the first US partner it takes on, meaning that 10,500 Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Sprint at RadioShack spots will become places of interest for players.
Pokéstops are a place for players to stock up on crucial in-game items such as pokéballs. In the case of these Sprint locations, players will also be able to use charging locations for their phones. The Sprint-specific location isn’t exactly a surprise; in July, reports surfaced that Niantic had plans in mind to allow advertisers to create sponsored locations. For Sprint, which is only the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the US, the initiative is clearly part of an effort to get more people in or around its retail locations.
Since Pokémon Go’s release, local businesses have been cashing in on the extra foot traffic. At the height of its popularity, it was common to see restaurants around my home city of New York advertising special deals for players, or trying to lure customers inside with cute jokes and signs. Even Hillary Clinton understood the draw of a pokémon; she held one of her election campaign events at a Pokémon Go gym.
Niantic is also preparing to add more creatures to Pokémon Go; currently it only includes the series’ first generation. Additional details are expected on December 12th.