Pokémon Safari Coming to EverBank Field

By now, I am sure you have either played Pokémon GO, seen Pokémon GO, or at least heard much about Pokémon GO, as it has apparently taken over the realm of mobile gaming. Nintendo has launched the mobile game in multiple regions worldwide, and is still introducing it to more as we speak.

Several businesses, companies, and brands have wisely taken advantage of the craze over the game. The successful launch of the game, and its appeal have been noticed by many. Over the last week, I have been out of town, traveling on business (outside of gaming), and Pokémon GO was still being discussed…by people other than myself. Funny enough, I found myself often answering the question: “What is Pokémon GO?” Most of the inquisitors had “heard” of the game, and even the main franchise, but had not ever asked the question seeking sincere understanding.

Joining in on the trend of companies advantageously opening up their doors to Pokémon GO’ers, NFL team, The Jacksonville Jaguars have joined in on the fun. The team announced that their home facility, EverBank Field, will be host to a Pokémon Safari event next Monday, July 25 (just before the start of the team’s Training Camp practices).

“We know that everyone has been all over Jacksonville playing Pokémon GO, but have not had the opportunity to play inside EverBank Field.  That’s why we’re opening up the stadium for our fans.” said Jaguars Vice President of Marketing and Digital Media Steve Ziff.  “We want all Jacksonville Pokémon trainers to be the very best and to catch ‘em all!”

Fans will be invited to access exclusive Pokémon GO Pokéstops and gyms inside EverBank Field during a one-night only experience designed to engage those who play the popular augmented reality game.  All Pokémon trainers will be able to take a self-guided tour through the stadium that takes them past the world’s largest video boards, the Military Bell on the Sky Patio and Touchdown the Jaguar.  The event will end with a celebration on FanDuelVille, home of the world-famous Smart Pharmacy Spas and Cabanas, providing the first 1,000 fans who complete the route with an exclusive gym badge.

“At FanDuel, we pride ourselves on the experiences we offer fans and we’re very excited to partner with the Jaguars to bring the first stadium experience of its kind to Pokémon GO fans,” said Jay Amos, EVP of Strategic Partnerships at FanDuel. “The Pokémon Safari aligns with our vision of making sports more exciting by offering a unique opportunity to let fans enjoy all that FanDuelVille has to offer and we’re thrilled to be a part of something no sports team has done before.”

Gates will open to all fans at 6 p.m. and close at 8 p.m. Fans will enter through US Assure Club West gates and be guided through a scripted experience that will allow them to access all key locations within the stadium.   Fans are encouraged to use #POKEMONGOJAX in all social posts throughout the evening.

The very thing that Nintendo’s late president, Satoru Iwata, wanted to do when it came to Nintendo’s foray into the mobile gaming arena appears to be happening, and that is of course, allowing people to access their IP in fun, exciting, and engaging ways that are uniquely Nintendo. The company’s innovative ways are not always “first-to-market” ideas and products, but their uniqueness in nature, and desire to bring something “all-new” to an often thought to be saturated market are indeed part of the reason that Nintendo continually finds ways to win even when they are more than counted out!

Have you been playing Pokémon GO? How many have you caught? Would you like to see even more non-gaming entities embrace Pokémon GO, and/or other things Nintendo? If you are nearby, will you be attending the Pokémon Safari event in Jacksonville, Florida?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!