How To Catch ‘Em All In Memphis: FanBank Launches Pokemon GO Local This Weekend

Posted by Holly Whitfield | July 27th 2016 9606 0

If you’re part of the Pokemon GO craze, you’ll be excited ecstatic to know that FanBank will drop some serious Lures this weekend in Memphis, and I have the details!

First, let me justify why I’m talking about a phone app: At its height two weeks ago, Pokemon Go had more users than Tinder or Twitter (which blows my mind) and more engagement than – hold on to your hats – Facebook. That’s leveled off a bit now, but Pokemon Go is still the #1 or #2 app in most countries around the world.

All those people you see wandering around staring at their phones? They’re playing Pokemon Go. Now back to how FanBank will use this phenomenon to support Memphis…

We decided to take a nice leisurely walk around downtown..for no reason at all😏 • • • #PokemonGo #PokemonGoMemphis 

A photo posted by S H I R A W I L S O N (@shiramariephoto) on

What’s FanBank?

FanBank is a network of about 140 local businesses in Memphis. After you join, every time you shop at one of the businesses you receive FanCoins.

You can redeem these FanCoins for rewards like gift cards, experiences (like Grizz perks), free stuff, and contest entries. FanBank’s goal is to support and drive traffic to Memphis businesses, so their new Pokemon GO Local program makes total sense.

Every weekend starting this week, FanBank will place Lure Modules at PokeStops near 15-20 FanBank businesses. Each business will have about three hours of the module.

I am going to update this post every week that I can to let you know where the little critters can be found.

Here’s how it works:
1. Sign up for FanBank here
2. Go to the PokeStops and catch ’em all, etc. (schedule and locations listed below)
3. Make a purchase at one of the FanBank businesses
4. Later, redeem your FanCoins

This weekend – August 6 – 7, 2016: Pokemon Go Local will be in midtown.

Here’s a list of participating FanBank businesses:

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 1.38.25 PM


I would also strongly recommend you follow FanBank on Facebook and Twitter for more insider information. Here’s what happened when they dropped a “test” Lure last week at Central BBQ:


But Wait, There’s More

Did you know that FanBank is a national company, but they launched in Memphis? I talked to FanBank’s founder Mitch Jacobs about his decision to launch here:

Holly: Why did you choose Memphis as the launch city for FanBank?

Mitch: Our goal is to build something great for [local] businesses and Memphis was just the kind of iconic city to be the birthplace for this global solution. Most of all, it has incredible neighborhoods and local businesses.

We believe that strong local businesses are critical to strong communities and we loved the idea of teaming up with this great city to create and refine the FanBank solution.

Holly: What do we know about other cities doing similar things to connect local businesses to the huge Pokemon Go player base? Is Memphis the first?

Mitch: McDonald’s made an announcement that they are doing something with their locations but it has not launched in the U.S. yet.

This is why FanBank exists – to help local business owners who should be able to move faster and be on the forefront of exciting consumer trends can do that without being distracted from running their shop. We’ve found most local businesses want to get involved in these things but can’t because they don’t have the time to learn how to use it, advertise it, etc and that’s how FanBank is a real asset.

If you’re confused about PokemonGo, first know that it’s not this:


It’s a game you play on your phone. I’m not going to get into all the details, there are plenty of “How To” and “What The Heck” articles online. Just FYI though,  a Lure Module attracts tons of Pokemon so you can catch them all at once.

Choose 901 has this list of the best places to play in Memphis, which is essentially just a list of the places where there is a lot of foot traffic. Check it out.

Do you play Pokemon GO? Will you go out this weekend to play Pokemon GO Local? What team are you on? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

If you’re a local business that is offering PokemonGo discounts for players, or you have a gym at your locations, please let me know specifically the terms of that discount in the comments. I’ve heard about Belly Acres, Botanic Gardens, and Maggie Moo’s…


Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

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  1. Jana Wilson says:

    I may or may not be playing, and cannot confirm nor deny that I am on Team Mystic (that’s the blue one, right?) I can confirm that Memphis Botanic Garden offers 2 discount days each week, announced on our Facebook and Twitter pages. This week’s days are Wednesday/Thursday, July 27 & 28. Show your PokemonGo app at the front desk for $6 admission.

    …and please, trainers and players, use your best Poketiquette when visiting the Garden and other parks and places of business. The Pokemon on our grounds are perfectly catchable from the pathways…don’t step into the beds or other pretty plantings, even to go after Pikachu. Also, PLEASE keep your heads up in the parking lot as you enter the Garden. We have lots of summer visitors, as well as private events, and the guests don’t want to have to worry about a player walking out in front of their cars. (Yes, has happened. Luckily, it was a near miss.)

    Oh, and our staff don’t (necessarily) play, and we don’t have any inside lines on the game. So, when you see our gardeners sweating away to keep the grounds beautiful, feel free to offer them a nice cool bottle of water, but don’t ask them to show you where the 4 gyms are located. We do have maps at the front desk (sans Poke-landmarks) and you can download our Memphis Botanic Garden app for free, if your battery can hang with multiple apps.

    One more thing, regarding etiquette: The Garden closes promptly at 6pm. That means the parking lot gates will swing shut very shortly thereafter, and your ride will be in the lot until the next morning. Our security staff are very patient, but making rounds through the 96 acres when they are trying to lock up does NOT endear them to our Pokefriends. Don’t be a POKEY hunter…please keep a watch on the time and head back to the building in plenty of time to be out by 6pm.

    Now, here’s your free hint: Some of our Pokestops are mis-labeled (shocker, right?) but if you follow the walkways, you’ll know when you’re in range. When you need a cool-down break, you can hit 2 stops in the building. One between the east doors and the main Visitors Center Gallery, the other at the Water Garden (west end of the building.) Vending machines and restrooms are here, and you can often find the little creatures roaming there, as you take a potty break…again, not that we would know, but…

    Come on out and happy hunting!

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