VG Tribune

Non-Profit in Pennsylvania Utilizes Pokémon GO to Generate Interest in Local Parks and Venues

August 16, 2016 / 12:19 PM

By: Matthew Williams

This story about a local Pennsylvania non-profit leveraging the power of Pokémon GO to promote civic awareness, will be sure to warm your hearts.

The Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board, a private, non-profit membership sales and marketing organization, is utilizing the game’s popularity to generate a campaign aimed at getting gamers to go “catch em’ all” in local parks and attractions.

“As the tourism organization for Montgomery County, we wanted to make it easier for fans to navigate our region, discover our attractions, and catch Pokémon.”

-Ed Harris (VP of Marketing and Communications, Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board)

For those unfamiliar with the area, Valley Forge is a beautiful region roughly 30 minutes north of Philadelphia, which is blossoming with historical tradition and natural beauty. Attractions like Valley Forge National Historical Park and Elmwood Park Zoo, are just of the few venues that the region has to offer visitors, tourists, and local community.

The campaign consists of several marketing endeavors, including a website called pokemontco.com (catch the play-on words), which shares information like PokéStop locations and rare Pokémon sightings. Who needs tracking apps like PokéVision, when you have user-confirmed, insider knowledge on Pokemon locations?

IMG_2996PokeMontco billboards fly high above I-76, I-95, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike

The movement has been a massive success so far, as foot traffic and visitation has increased dramatically in local venues, especially Elmwood Park Zoo.

“Millennials are flocking to our family zoo in large numbers for the first time and have contributed to our big increase in tickets sold so far this summer.”

-Al Zone (Executive Director, Elmwood Park Zoo)

In addition, the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board has seen an uptick in digital traffic with relation to their social media accounts and website. The agency’s initial Pokémon-related post on the PokéMontco website has a little over 2,100 likes on Facebook. The organization has also recently launched an Instagram contest, which will give participants the opportunity to win a new iPhone. To enter, participants only need to post their best catches and gym victories using the hashtag, #PokeMontco.

While it is great to see businesses using Pokémon GO to promote their products/services, it is an extremely refreshing experience to see this good-willed non-profit utilizing the app to promote local events. If you live around the Philadelphia/Valley Forge area or are visiting, be sure to check out all of these local attractions – it is an experience you won’t regret.

About the author /


Matthew, a graduate from Texas Christian University, now works as a Senior Digital Analytics Consultant for Ernst & Young. With a passion for video games (mostly retro and survival horror) and data, Matthew is pursuing a career in game analytics.

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