Guest post written by Alex Rodriguez, Head of Samsung US Mobile Marketing Partnerships
The Community Day partnership between Samsung and Niantic all began with a special research task from Professor Willow to find Jirachi at Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago. Bound by their love for the game, I played alongside this thriving community of Trainers as we explored themed habitats and fun activities throughout the day. This is also where I got to meet the incredibly charismatic Pokémon GO content creators who shared some of their most precious moments as creators in the community. It was my first-time experiencing Pokémon GO at this annual event, which left me wondering: how can Samsung contribute to bringing Pokémon GO experiences to the community as well.
Back in New York, my son and I quickly became more immersed in Pokémon GO as we started attending Community and Raid Day meetups by way of our local Discord group. Whether it was walking through the busy streets of NYC with hundreds of Trainers, or camping out at the Bank of America Tower by Bryant Park, I started to realize that Samsung can be more to this Community in addition to sponsored PokéStops and EX Raids.
Armed with a deeper understanding of the community, Samsung was ready to begin collaborating with Niantic to design a breakthrough partnership that Trainers would genuinely appreciate. We thought that providing a safe, comfortable place for Trainers to meet up, trade, and catch Pokémon together would be a great way to explore a new program.
Inspired by Pokémon GO Fest, we put tremendous thought into every detail, so Trainers would feel like it was an experience that truly understood their needs, and wouldn’t be a distraction from the primary Community Day in-game catching objectives.
Leading up to the event, our friends and content creators shared on social media channels that they would be hosting the first-ever Samsung Community Day at the 837 NYC experience space. As RSVP capacity started to reach the limit, we were excited to have a full-house during this experience.
As they arrived to 837, Trainers were welcomed with an exclusive Pokémon GO three-year anniversary poster from Niantic, and a voucher for 15 Poké Balls courtesy of Samsung. After a few heartfelt opening remarks from our hosts, we all counted down from ten to officially kick off Pokémon GO Trapinch Community Day.
Throughout Community Day, Trainers could join Pokémon GO content creators across the street at Highline Park, or hang out at 837 which had been set up with four PokéStops and an EX Raid Gym. Pokémon GO was mirrored to our massive three-story screen so Trainers could always see the Gym status. Anytime it was overtaken, all of the lights at 837 would change to match the winning team…shout out to my Team Instinct who fought valiantly!
As an added bonus, coincidentally, a few attendees had invites to a scheduled EX Mewtwo raid at the 837 Gym which we also projected onto the big screen for everyone to enjoy.
After the in-game event, 837 became the finish line for Trainers to celebrate their catches with Pokémon-themed snacks and a chance to win a free Galaxy Note 10 for anyone on-site who shared that they caught a Shiny Trapinch! We concluded Community Day photo opportunities in our /Make Studio to give Trainers a more personal memento of the day.
Gamer response to this event was overwhelmingly positive as it felt like we broke new ground in creating a meaningful Samsung-branded approach to Community Day. Traffic to our store reached new heights with over a thousand visits to our flagship store during the experience.
The success of this incredible moment was the result of a true partnership between Niantic and Samsung marketers who care deeply about player needs because we ourselves are gamers.
In December, we’ll bring this event to more cities by way of Samsung Experience Stores, and eventually, we hope to work more closely with our carrier and retail partners to expand nationally. We loved opening our doors to this amazing community of Pokémon Trainers, and are incredibly thankful to everyone that joined us for this special occasion!
- Alex Rodriguez, Head of Samsung US Mobile Marketing Partnerships / Team Instinct