T-Mobile is all over the Pokémon Go craze

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Image: Reuters/Steve Marcus
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T-Mobile CEO John Legere, never one to miss out on a chance at publicity for his company, is jumping on the Pokémon Go bandwagon. But the opportunism is not without its casualties.

T-Mobile had been planning to promote fashion-focused freebies and a partnership with luxury flash-sale site Gilt Groupe for the coming week of its T-Mobile Tuesdays giveaway program. But it’s ditching that plan to get in on the Pokémon Go craze, with promotions tied to the wildly popular video game.

As part of its customer-appreciation effort, T-Mobile said it won’t count gaming on the popular Pokémon Go app against customer data plans for the next year. Customers must claim the offer on the T-Mobile Tuesdays app over the next four Tuesdays—from July 19 and August 9—to get their unlimited Pokémon Go gaming.

“This is what T-Mobile Tuesday is all about – thanking customers with hot, new, totally free gifts every week, and right now, nothing is hotter than Pokémon Go!” Legere said in a company statement.

It’s unclear how much data T-Mobile customers who play Pokémon Go will be saving. But network equipment maker Sandvine found that actively playing for one hour on an Android phone outside of the home can expend roughly 8MB of data, based on its product marketing manager’s own game play.

Next Tuesday, T-Mobile will also give away free $15-or-less Lyft rides to new Pokéstops or gyms, Wendy’s Frostys ”to fuel up for your hunting trip,” and a 50% discount on select accessories, including portable batteries and chargers in-store, so customers can extend their play time, the company said.

As for customers counting on their fashion promotions, their only comfort is a promise that those will be back “soon.”