While the peak highs of the Summer may be long gone for Pokemon GO and its players, it appears as though they’re ending the year on a high. Earlier this week, they announced a partnership with Sprint, turning all of their stores into PokeStops, and some of them into Gyms for Pokemon GO Players to refuel their Poke Balls, collect eggs and inside of the Sprint store, they can recharge their smartphones for a while. Before the Sprint partnership was announced this week, however, we heard news of a possible collaboration between Starbucks and Niantic, the firm behind Pokemon GO. Today, they’re making it official, and Starbucks fans that enjoy catching Pokemon will have one more reason to head to their nearest branch starting today.
Starting today, at 11:00 PST, more than 7,800 US Starbucks stores will become PokeStops or Gyms, which will dramatically increase the amount of things for Pokemon GO players to do, as long as they’re close to a Starbucks store. In true Starbucks fashion, they’re offering a new drink starting today, as we covered earlier in the week, dubbed the Pokemon GO Frappuccino, which will start with a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino as its base and then add in berries and be topped with whipped cream. While it doesn’t seem like much of an effort on Starbucks part, the branding alone is likely to bring in more keen Pokemon GO players, and the expansion of having more and more PokeStops for players to refuel at is of course going to help, too.
John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, says that Starbucks has worked hard at creating a place for people to enjoy themselves away from home, and that “Starbucks’ footprint throughout the U.S. provides an awesome platform” to partner with. While this is probably great news for those that live in urban areas, Pokemon GO fans that live further out will probably once again feel as if they’re being left out, and while there’s little that Niantic can do about players that live quite far out, there also appears to be little effort to improve their game for these sort of players. Either way, Starbucks fans will have a lot to enjoy over the Holiday Season as their stores start to offer them a leg up in Pokemon GO, as well as offering them their caffeine fix.