Sponsored locations aren’t new to Niantic games. Companies like Sprint, McDonalds, and AT&T have had sponsored locations in games like Pokémon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite for a long while now. The idea: by turning your business into a big in-game beacon and giving players some reason to stop by, you increase foot traffic.
So far, though, the sponsorship system has really only been open to these mega chains. Starbucks got to turn all of its stores into sponsored Pokéstops at the height of the Pokémon GO craze, but the little mom-and-pop coffee shop down the street? No such luck.
That’ll change later this year, as the company opens a self-serve platform for small to medium sized businesses looking to light up sponsored