Case Study

Pokémon Phenomenon

Grassroots PR for Organized Play Events & Players

  • Media Relations
  • Event Planning / Local Activations
  • Messaging
50+ Stories Per Season
533M+ Impressions
22 Media Markets

Our Approach

For more than 20 years, Pokémon has maintained its position as one of the world’s most popular children’s entertainment properties. With key pillars including animation, the Trading Card Game (TCG), video games, and Organized Play – the brand continues to adapt to shifts in technology and evolve based on changes in consumer trends, while staying true to its roots as a positive outlet for children.

The Pokémon Company International partners with Barokas Communications to drive awareness, interest, and involvement in the key pillar of Organized Play. By providing a fun, organized environment for casual to competitive TCG and video game play, Organized Play serves as an important venue for the brand to connect with its most essential public: dedicated players of the core Pokémon games.

Barokas Communications brings a strategy to life built on grassroots public relations in support of the Pokémon Championship Series. We implemented a multi-pronged, hyper-local approach to media relations focused on the events and players that make up the Organized Play community. To ensure the resulting coverage is compelling, we tap into a set of spokespeople that know and love Organized Play the most: the players themselves. 

In order to ensure a steady cadence of coverage throughout the season, we leverage a mix of proactive pitching, news announcements and event listings as part of outreach to local and regional outlets. Additionally, we clearly articulate the core values of the Organized Play program through several layers of education, including official messaging and supporting Organized Play guides. 

In the time we have been working with The Pokémon Company International, Organized Play has grown from just a few thousand players to more than 450,000 annual participants today. Over the course of the 2019 Championship Series Events alone (including Regional Championships, International Championships, and World Championships), media relations efforts resulted in more than 40 pieces of coverage reaching an audience of more than 530 million readers and viewers.

Key broadcast and print coverage appeared in NPR, The Washington Post, and local ABC/NBC/FOX stations across the nation. Coverage appeared in more than 22 different media markets in 14 different states across a broad range of hyper-local outlets including broadcast, print, online, newsletters, blogs, and social.

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