Pokemon Go has quickly taken on a huge cultural significance, tapping into nostalgia for a generation of millennials, many now in college or just leaving college. The geo-location game that uses augmented reality to put the animated creatures in the real world has swept the nation and plenty of brands are trying to take advantage.
And they should. Many notable places are designated as gyms where players can do battle with their Pokemon or are designated as “Pokestops” where players can collect bonus items.
Texas A&M was one of the first SEC schools to take advantage. They discovered a rare Pokemon, the kicking, fighting Pokemon Hitmonlee, was lurking around Kyle Field and so the Aggies opened up Kyle Field for a Pokemon get together.
More than 1,000 excited Pokemon and Aggies fans showed up for the event Wednesday at Kyle Field getting the experience of standing on the field at Kyle Field and trying to catch a rare Pokemon.
— Conner McQueen (@Conner_McQueen) July 13, 2016
“Frankly I’m shocked [by the response],” senior associate athletic director for external affairs Jason Cook told Sam Khan Jr. of ESPN.com. “We posted it on social media overnight, it’s in the middle of summer in Aggieland, not a lot of students here, not a lot going on. I was thinking, ‘Well, maybe we’ll get a couple hundred.’ We’re well over 1,000. It just shows you what kind of cultural phenomenon this has become in a couple days and also how special Kyle Field is, too.”
That is an incredible response. Khan reports that when Hitmonlee spawned toward the end of the event, several people sprinted to the spot the creature was virtually located in to try to catch it.
Pokemon Go uses the phone’s location services to discover Pokemon monsters in the real world. When a player gets close to a Pokemon on the computer-generate map, they click on it and, using the phone’s camera, the app places an animated creature in the real world for the player to try to catch.
There are rarer Pokemon in notable locations like Kyle Field. So there may still be some players hanging around the stadium trying to catch them all. It would not be surprising to see other stadiums open up like this for fans to meet up and engage with the programs during this down time.