Real life athletes drink down electrolytes after hitting the gym, but on Thursday Starbucks (SBUX) launched a beverage specifically designed to accompany virtual training sessions: the Pokémon GO Frappuccino.
Starbucks’ newest pink drink is being rolled out at some 7,800 stores across the United States—stores that are also being turned into PokéStops and Pokémon Gyms.
In these virtual arenas players can pit monsters they’ve caught in battles against those captured by others—victorious trainers can even take over a gym and then defend it from virtual attack. All while supping on a Pokémon GO Frappuccino (a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with raspberry syrup and freeze-dried blackberries.)
Pokémon GO, the location-based game that caused stampedes in Central Park and around the world as thousands of players scampered after pixelated beasts, smashed Apple (AAPL) App store records to become the most downloaded app ever in its first week of release when it was launched this summer.
While its buzz has somewhat diminished, Pokémon GO remains among the top 30 gaming apps across iOS and Android, CNN Money reports.
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There’s nothing new about retailers cashing in on the latest entertainment trends, or indeed on Pokémon, to boost sales. In August Fortune reported that a strawberry and vanilla swirled “Pokéball Frappuccino” was being sold in New Zealand. And in Southern California, baristas made drinks to mimic the appearance of “Eevee,” “Bulbasaur,” and other Pokémon sprites.
The recent tie in between Starbucks and Pokémon GO speaks to a broader trend in the coffee giant’s growth strategy, based on digital as well as bricks and mortar expansion. On Wednesday, Starbucks announced a deal with the owners of China-based social messaging service WeChat to allow users to text each other gift cards for Starbucks-branded products.