Ever since Pokémon Go launched this summer, businesses have recognized the potential that the game represents for foot traffic, especially if they’re located near a gym. Today, Starbucks has announced that a number of its US stores will be turned into pokéstops or gyms, and will serve a tie-in drink.
According to Starbucks, around 7,800 stores across the United States will begin to turn into pokéstops or gyms at 11AM PST. To entice players, the stores will be offering a drink called the Pokémon GO Frappuccino, a "Vanilla Bean Frappuccino blended beverage and raspberry syrup blended with freeze dried whole blackberries and topped with whipped cream," which basically sounds like they’ve stuck a pokémon in a blender.
Back in July, the game’s developer, Niantic, began to work with major businesses to create sponsored locations, which aimed to draw foot traffic to certain areas, in the hope that the players would then spend money in said locations. This isn’t the first big partnership between a major chain and Niantic. When Pokémon Go launched in Japan, the company partnered with McDonald’s to turn 3,000 McDonald’s restaurants into gyms. Yesterday, Sprint announced that it was partnering with Niantic to launch gyms and pokestop locations in 10,500 stores across the United States.
Update: 2:56PM: Reached for comment, Niantic noted that there will be not be any "new or exclusive Pokémon in Pokémon GO for the Starbucks collaboration."
This post has been updated to clarify that Niantic has partnered with Sprint.