Starbucks and Pokémon are working together to promote one another through technology and local community: Starbucks and Pokémon.
More than 7,800 Starbucks locations in the U.S. on Thursday became either PokéStops or Gyms, locations where players of the augmented-reality app game Pokémon Go can collect virtual Pokémon creatures or train them. With that came the new Pokémon Go Frappuccino blended beverage.
The Pokémon Go drink is a vanilla bean Frappuccino blended with raspberry syrup and dried blackberries, then topped with whipped cream.
"Starbucks has played an important role in creating welcoming places for people to come together for refreshment and social engagement," said John Hanke, the CEO of Niantic, the company that developed the Pokémon Go app, in a statement. "The physical locations component of the collaboration is important to us as we look for ways to use technology to encourage exploration, exercise and real world social interaction, and Starbucks' footprint throughout the U.S. provides an awesome platform."
Representatives from Starbucks, Niantic, and Pokemon declined to discuss the terms of the deal.
The Pokémon deal with Starbucks follows the announcement of a pact with Sprint, which said Wednesday that it would introduce game integrations at more than more than 10,500 Sprint, Boost Mobile and Sprint at RadioShack stores in the U.S. Players will be able to collect in-game items, including Poké Balls and Eggs, to help them advance in the game, according to a press release. "We expect a huge uptick in traffic," Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure told Cnet.com.