Pokémon GO maker Niantic has revealed that sponsored locations like McDonald’s Japan pay up to $0.50 for each visitor attracted to the game — and has already attracted 500 million visitors.
According to TechCrunch, Niantic VP of Strategic Partnerships Mathieu de Fayet said, “The idea is to offer players items at certain locations, and partners pay $0.15 for each visitor attracted to the game. And we’ve already attracted 500 million visitors. In Japan [at the game’s peak last summer], each activated McDonald’s store attracted 2,000 visitors a day.”
The sponsorships turn these locations into Pokémon GO “gyms” that players can win for their team through virtual battle and “PokéStops,” where they can gather eggs and Poké Balls to capture more pocket monsters.
But a follow-up with Niantic revealed that the $0.15 number is incorrect, possibly due to a translation error. The company says, “Niantic’s cost per visit (CPV) model visit has partners spending less than $0.50 / daily unique visit to sponsored locations.”
That means that even at $0.15 per visit, the sponsorships could have earned $75 million in revenue for Niantic, while the high end of $0.50 would have generated $250 million. With McDonald’s Japan activating 3,000 stores throughout the country, the company would have paid about $900,000 per day to Niantic for the Pokémon GO sponsorship at $0.15 per visitor, or $3 million per day at $0.50 each.
Pokémon GO has signed on Sprint and 7,800 Starbucks locations as sponsors in the U.S. And if these deals are successful, it could open the door for other apps looking to monetize by boosting foot traffic into brick-and-mortar businesses.