Pokemon GO maker Niantic reaches out to its players to help local businesses recover from the massive loss due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Niantic Labs is making use of its widespread influence, thanks to the Pokemon GO player community. The goal is to use the augmented reality mobile gaming app to help local business owners get back on their feet.
The effect of the coronavirus pandemic, as seen on the media and online publications, is gravely massive. COVID-19 caused all kinds of establishments to temporarily close down, as lockdowns were imposed.
This is where Niantic comes in, as it proudly wears the banner of bringing the community together with Pokemon GO.
The Local Business Recovery initiative
The gaming giant is encouraging its Pokemon GO players to nominate “small and local business” near them to participate in the program titled “Niantic Local Business Recovery initiative.”
With this, Niantic is committing itself to support 1000 nominated businesses by “providing complimentary promotion in Pokémon GO for one year.”
Basically, the lucky nominees will be part of Niantic’s Sponsored Location program. For those who are not familiar with the program, it’s when the game devs put such businesses on the game’s app, where players can visit them while they roam and play.
The program was since put on hold, considering the recent lockdowns. However, with the U.S. government deciding to slowly open the economy back up, the San Francisco-based software dev company is most likely to pursue the program once again.
We're also focusing on rebuilding our communities & introducing the Niantic Local Business Recovery Initiative! Now is your chance to nominate your favorite local & small businesses to have their storefront integrated into @PokemonGOApp for a year free! https://t.co/LHQxS1rgUm
— Niantic, Inc. (@NianticLabs) June 15, 2020
The initiative’s mechanics
How does this initiative work? According to Niantic’s official announcement, the 1000 nominees will have the opportunity that reads:
The physical locations of these local storefronts will appear as sponsored Pokéstops or Gyms on the Pokémon GO game map, and these businesses will have access to additional in-game marketing tools, such as promotion campaigns. By leveraging these features, small businesses can build location and product offering awareness, display geo-targeted messaging and offers to nearby players, and create a more fun and engaging experience for visiting players.
Per Pokemon GO Hub, the eligible businesses should only have five or less “pedestrian-accessible storefront locations.” Also, the businesses should be proven to adhere to the government-regulated social-distancing protocols.
Also, it is important to note that the Pokemon GO app is played worldwide, so Niantic is narrowing the selection, for now, within these countries listed below:CanadaGreat BritainJapanMexicoUnited States
The initiative is only nomination-based, and everyone is advised to nominate only one per player. Nominations started on June 15 and will close on July 31, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. PDT.
Featured image courtesy of Niantic/Twitter