Starbucks files trademark application for stadium naming rights

Starbucks has applied with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier in June for the right to use its name on a stadium or training facilities. The coffee giant could join FedEx and Barclays as a corporate sponsor of a stadium or arena if approved. Companies are willing to shell out big bucks for brand awareness and fan loyalty from a high-profile venue with the corporation’s name. 

A Starbucks spokesperson said the company has no further details to share beyond the June filing, as per CNBC reports. According to the filing, Starbucks is seeking approval to use its name to promote the business, sports, and entertainment events of others and provide stadium and training facilities for sports and entertainment activities.

The cost of naming rights fluctuates depending on the sport and year, but it can top $20 million per year in the United States. SoFi is spending a reported $30 million a year for naming rights to the Los Angeles-area NFL stadium. Meanwhile, Allegiant Airlines is reportedly paying between $20-25 million per year for the Las Vegas Raiders stadium name.

The NBA’s top deals are for the San Francisco Warriors’ Chase Center ($22 million per year) and the Brooklyn Nets’ Barclays Arena ($20 million per year). On the other hand, CitiGroup pays $20 million annually for naming rights to the New York Mets’ Citi Field.

In 2020, Amazon reportedly spent $300 million to $400 million on the rights for an arena in Seattle, now called the Climate Pledge Arena. The Seattle Kraken will kick off their inaugural NHL season in The Climate Pledge Arena during fall and any NBA team that visits Seattle would play there as well. Starbucks may have to look beyond its Seattle roots to find a stadium or arena. However, there is some potential for it to stay at its founding city. The Seattle Sounders in the MLS could look to set up a new stadium rather than sharing Lumen Field with the Seattle Seahawks (NFL). Lumen renewed its naming rights to the field in 2017 in a 15-year deal worth $162.7 million. 

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