Sprint stores around the United States are about to get a surge of potential customers thanks to Pokemon Go.
Why? Hundreds or even thousands of new EX Raid Invites were sent out early this morning to trainers around the United States, inviting them to go to a local Sprint store location to participate in a Mewtwo raid.
Pokemon Go has been testing their new EX Raid feature for over a week now, sending out small batches of invites to trainers to test the new system and balance the raids before they launch the feature worldwide. Until now, the EX Raids have taken place at public locations like Columbus Circle in New York City, but this new wave represents a potential change in how Pokemon Go could use raids to drive business to its sponsors. It's also the largest group of tests we've seen, so this could be a way to gauge traffic levels and participation before a larger release.
Sprint has been a sponsor of Pokemon Go for almost a year, and most of its stores are geomarked in the game as either gyms or PokeStops. While Pokemon Go and Sprint have worked together on previous promotions, hosting EX Raids for Mewtwo seems like a surefire way to get people into stores.
Before folks get upset at Pokemon Go for holding EX Raids at one of their sponsoring businesses, let's remember that the game is still testing EX Raids out. Sure, only players who previously beat a raid at a Sprint store could get an invite for this wave of EX Raids, but this probably won't be the norm moving forward.
The raids will all take place on September 15th between 6 PM and 7 PM in their respective time zone. We'll report on any surprises then, but for now it looks like visitors to Sprint stores are getting a chance to fight Mewtwo a little early.