It really didn’t take long.
Following on from the release of Nintendo’s augmented reality game Pokemon Go, teams across America were quick to jump on board and utilise it in their social media efforts.
Seattle Sounders appeared to be first out of the gate with a subtly-edited team photo (although we’re not quite sure how happy team sponsors Microsoft will have been about the association).
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) July 8, 2016
And Bayern Munich’s US account joined in just a few days later for new manager Carlo Ancelotti’s first day. Each post hit triple figures in retweets and likes; substantially more than the account’s usual numbers despite having over 45,000 followers.
— FC Bayern US (@FCBayernUS) July 11, 2016
— FC Bayern US (@FCBayernUS) July 12, 2016
Gotta catch ’em all
Clever imagery isn’t the only way teams have been jumping on the Pokemon Go bandwagon. American football side Nebraska Huskers have taken the initiative by deciding to throw open the gates to the stadium for two hours in a bid to stop fans climbing fences in pursuit of Pokemon. This one was even shared by the local police department, suggesting it’s been a serious problem.
Guys, you don't need to jump the fence to catch Pokemon at the stadium.
We'll let you in on Thursday.
— Nebraska Huskers (@Huskers) July 12, 2016
We’re also expecting more examples such as this one, from Oklahoma State University’s coach Mike Gundy. There’s quite a bit of scepticism in the comments about whether Gundy would actually play the game, but if not someone has clearly decided that making out that he does is good for engagement.
— Mike Gundy (@CoachGundy) 11 July 2016
Will others follow?
It’s early days for Pokemon Go, hence the social media efforts so far are a bit of a mixed bag. Some teams are maybe forcing it a bit too much right now by shoehorning the animals into photos, however teams like the Huskers have figured out a good way to tap into the trend and provide a bit of value to fans at the same time.