Friday, 2 September 2016

Uniting members and making teams with Pokémon Go – Part 4

Now that you are all set and and your members are raring to go, its time for your club to join a team to take over your local PokéGym.

Using Pokémon GO to get active is not a new concept, but integrating it into your health club or gym can help you to retain members, inspire fitness through a fun new concept and maybe even catch a few new members along the way.

In this article we will explain to you a bit more about PokéGyms and battles, as well as giving you a few ideas on how to integrate these aspects of the game into your club’s Pokémon program.

What is a PokéGym?

Battles are limited to gyms: landmarks and places of interest in the real world which have been pin-pointed by Pokémon GO developers as Gyms.

You will need to head to your local PokéGym to initiate a battle and claim it for your club’s team.

By controlling your local PokéGym, you not only can help members to increase their personal scores, but you create a community vibe and team spirit within your club as you will all need to stick together in order to maintain your rein.

What is a battle?

Battles happen only within PokéGyms.  At rival Gyms, you can battle other teams’ Pokémon for a chance at claiming the Gym.

Each rival Pokémon you defeat reduces the Gym’s Prestige and potentially lowers the Gym’s level. Reduce the Gym’s Prestige to zero to capture the Gym for your team.

They are an essential process you must complete in order to be able to claim a PokéGym for your team.

Getting a Team for You Club

You can’t make up your own team for your club, there are only 3 teams available on Pokémon GO to join: Red, Blue and Yellow. So pick which team your club members will be joining and make this known – it this could be based on a colour in your club branding.

To join a team, you must first reach level 5 (tips here).  Once you hit level 5, head to the closest gym where you will be prompted to choose one of the three teams.

Here are some top tips for building the ultimate Pokémon Team.

How to Claim a PokéGym for your Club Team

By now, there are very few PokéGyms left unclaimed, so you will need to do battle to takeover.

As a player you can takeover a PokéGym by battling and defeating other players Pokémon that have been stashed there.  The aim is to lower the gym's Prestige level to 0.

Every time you defeat a trainer who is defending a gym you will lower the Prestige number. Once the Prestige number hits zero the gym is yours for the taking - this could take multiple battles.  Now the gym is available, you need to leave behind one of your Pokémon to take control and be able to claim the gym for your team.

For more tips on battling and training read this guide.

Gym Leaders

PokéGym Leaders are at the top of their game, they dominate their local neighbourhoods and PokéGyms. Ideally you have one or two staff members or club members who are Master Trainers/Gym Leaders in order for your club to keep an eye on/control the local PokéGym.

The higher your PokéGyms prestige level the more Poke Trainers you will need to keep it safe.  A good way to achieve this is to find and encourage club members to help out.  You could reward these members with real world prizes such as a free PT session, or perhaps some free club swag!

For more tips on becoming a master trainer read this article.

Promotional Ideas for Your Club

As mentioned before, Pokémon GO is a great tool that your club can make the most of to retain members as well as perhaps acquire a few new ones.
You should consider using real world promotions, competitions and giveaways to lure and encourage both new and existing members.  Below are a few ideas for your club:

  • Free club swag – this could be branded sweat towels, water bottles, caps or t-shirts.  Members will be proud to wear/use them, and plus it gives your club a bit of extra promotion outside your premises.
  • Free Personal Training Sessions – use this as bait to reward and encourage high achievers or to entice new members to come and give your club or your Pokémon programme a try!
  • Gift Cards – does your club have a shop?  Gift cards could be a great prize for existing members.  Or If not, you could give away iTunes or Google Play gift cards to help members improve their game play – it’s a win-win!
  • Free months membership – use for existing members only, perhaps the entry mechanic could be to take a photo in your club with a Pokémon they have caught, then post on social media using your dedicated hashtag and tagging the gym in of course – extra publicity for you and a free month for them – its another win-win!

For more Pokémon tips and ideas to help improve membership retention, be sure to download our full guide.

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