Pokémon GO has more Pokéstops now, thanks to Starbucks collaboration

Pokémon GO and Starbucks launched a partnership that turns most stores into Pokéstops or gyms. A special drink was also created for players.

RICHMOND, Va. – After days of online speculation following a leaked internal memo from Starbucks, it turns out that the rumors of a collaboration with Pokémon GO are true, both companies announced Thursday.

As part of the event, Niantic — the software company that created Pokémon GO – will turn approximately 7,800 Starbucks into PokéStops or gyms.

The event began at 11 a.m. on the West Coast and as part of the promotion, Starbucks created a specific Pokémon GO Frappuccino blended beverage.

The drink has a vanilla bean base blended with raspberry syrup and freeze-dried whole blackberries  and is topped with whipped cream.

“It is a pretty familiar drink,” said Ifeatu Okafor, a manager at the Starbucks in Carytown. “We are able to customize any drink, we’ve already made it before.”

Okafor said that people commonly associate their company with coffee-only drinks, but they have an array of drinks.

She said this new collaboration highlights that.

“It appeals to people who aren’t necessarily coffee drinkers,” she said.

Though Starbucks says the drink is available for a limited time, it is not clear if all converted Starbucks PokéStops or gyms will remain. At the time of publishing, a company representative had not responded.

The promotion launched on Thursday, but the coffee company is not Pokémon GO’s first United States partner. The day before the Starbucks news officially released, a partnership with Sprint was announced, which begins Dec. 12.

There are more details ahead, but it will involve the release of more Pokémon into Pokémon GO.

The release of new Pokémon will signify many things for the company, and advance gameplay for fans. This is a widely-celebrated event among hardcore fans, many who have already caught the 143 U.S. Pokémon.

Recently, there were two special events anchored around Halloween and Thanksgiving, which brought a resurgence in user activity.

As part of this collaboration, Sprint, Boost Mobile and Sprint at Radioshack stores will also become PokéStops and gyms. This allows users to have more places to stock up on Poké Balls and Razz Berries and to battle.

Ingress, the first game created by Niantic, also earned revenue from sponsorships. The company has not revealed how much they charged for the Starbuck’s and Sprint partnerships, or what access, if any, the companies will have to the Pokémon GO user base and data.