Sponsored Locations for small businesses coming to Pokémon Go

Pokemon Go Gyms and Pokestops
Pokemon Go Gyms and Pokestops (Image credit: Niantic)

What you need to know

  • Small businesses can apply to have their Pokéstops and Gyms upgraded to sponsored.
  • Sponsored Pokéstops and Gyms have additional space to feature their products and promotions.
  • Sponsored locations can host mini-games to drive foot traffic at specific times.
  • Sponsors will also have access to data concerning how and when players interact with their Pokéstops and Gyms.

While Pokémon Go has featured Sponsored Pokéstops and Gyms for a couple years, these special Pokéstops and Gyms have only been utilized by large companies, such as Starbucks, Sprint and Mc'Donalds. That will all be changing this winter as Pokémon Go has opened up applications for small and medium sized businesses. Once approved, these businesses would have their Pokéstops and Gyms upgraded to Sponsored status but that's only the tip of the iceberg.

In addition to being a Sponsored Pokéstop or Gym, which offers unique Field Research Tasks, Sponsors will have the ability to upload promotional images and information for their business that players will see any time they interact with the Pokéstop or Gym. Sponsors will be able to schedule mini-games and set up lures at specific times to draw in additional foot traffic. Sponsors will even be able to host special Raid hours once a month if they have a Sponsored Gym. In addition, Niantic will provide the Sponsors with detailed data regarding how players interact with the Sponsored Locations, all for as little as $1 a day. Currently, Niantic is accepting applications exclusively in the US and only for Pokémon Go but plans to expand to other games and locations in the future.

Interested business owners are encouraged to apply now for Early Access Beta Sponsorship which will roll out beginning in December.

Casian Holly

Casian Holly has been writing about gaming at iMore since 2019, but their real passion is Pokémon. From the games to the anime, cards and toys, they eat, sleep, and breathe all things Pokémon. You can check out their many Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield guides and coverage here on iMore.