Sprint And Starbucks To Sponsor Pokémon Go Locations In U.S.

What Happened
While the craze of Pokémon Go has expectedly winded down a bit from its feverish launch this summer, there is no denying that this location-based mobile game still holds much potential for brands to explore. Back in August, Niantic, the company behind Pokémon Go, struck a deal with McDonald’s to turn over 3,000 restaurant locations in Japan into sponsored Gyms in the game. But since then, Niantic has made no big move in regards to bringing brand sponsorships to markets outside Japan.

That officially changes today as not one, but two big-name brands become sponsors for the game in the U.S. Earlier today Sprint announced it is partnering with Niantic to add PokéStops and Gyms at over ten thousand Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Sprint-RadioShack store locations. Moreover, Starbucks has reportedly also signed on for a similar partnership to turn its coffee shops nationwide into PokéStops and Gyms in the game. Moreover, a leaked document also shows that Starbucks will be introducing some Pokémon-themed drinks to accompany the launch.

What Brands Should Do
As we pointed out in our previous Fast Forward analysis on the game, Pokémon Go’s smashing success presents great opportunities for brands to reach a young-skewing audience on mobile and even drive offline traffic to stores. While not every brand has the resources to become an official sponsor for game, there are still plenty of things that brands can do to capitalize on the game’s viral popularity and its AR-related implications. We have already seen some brands finding interesting workarounds such as location-based dynamic ads to reach Pokémon Go players. As Niantic warms up to brand sponsors, we expect more opportunities to come for brands to reach the massive global mobile users playing the game.

For more suggestions on how brands can benefit from “Pokémania,” check out our in-depth Fast Forward analysis on the matter here.


Source: CNET

Would You Trade Full-Screen Mobile Ads For $5 Off Your Sprint Bills?

What Happened
Sprint is experimenting with a new way for customers to save on their bills – by downloading an app that temporarily turns your home-screen into an ad. Working with startup Unlockd to create an Android app called “Boost Dealz,” Sprint’s prepaid subsidiary Boost Mobile will now offer their customers $5 off their monthly bill when they install the app, which displays full-screen ads after users unlock their phones. It’s unknown whether ads will be presented every time one unlocks their smartphone, though odds are that they would be presented frequently.

What Brands Need To Do
What Sprint is attempting to achieve here is an interesting flip-side of a recent market trend where consumers are increasingly choosing to avoid ads by using ad-blockers or ad-free subscription services. By offering ads in exchange for a monthly discount, Sprint is making a straight-forward value proposition to its customers to let them decide whether they will opt in to see the ads. Regardless of how many customers take Boost up on this offer, it provides a good example in how brands of all types can circumvent the rise of ad-blockers by offering added value.


Source: CNN Money

Header image courtesy of Boost Mobile

Can new Palm Pre compete with iPhone?

Palm Pre at CES (Josh Lovison)It is a classic tale.  A once great legend, now down and out, falls for the quirky girl who no one really notices, and with her support, stages a final comeback.  No, I’m not talking about a new Hollywood release.  I’m talking about Palm’s new smartphone and Sprint.

The Palm “Pre” is the newest smartphone from the company that was one of the pioneers of the PDA age.  The handset is initially an exclusive release on the Sprint network, known more for its economical pricing than its sexy handset lineup. Continue reading “Can new Palm Pre compete with iPhone?”