Inspired by the success of its White Cup Contest for customers, Starbucks is giving its store partners (employees) an opportunity to express their creativity through their own design contest.

The Starbucks Partner White Cup Contest launches February 16 and runs for one week. U.S. partners are invited to decorate an iconic Starbucks white cup with hand-drawn art, take a photo of the cup design, and share it through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using #PartnerCupContest as a hashtag. Three partner cup designs will be selected and printed on reusable tumblers. The partner-designed tumblers will be available for purchase later this year.

“The talent and creativity of our partners, plus our iconic white cups, equals magic. I cannot wait to see how our partners bring this to life,” says Amy Alcala, vice president of partner engagement and communications.

Last year, Starbucks launched its first White Cup Contest and received almost 4,000 entries from customers in just three weeks. The winner, Brita Lynn Thompson, said that hearing her art was chosen was “the happiest day” of her life. A store partner might be saying the same thing when his or her art is selected by early March.

"The iconic white cup is our billboard,” says Jim Hanna, Starbucks director of Environmental Impact. “And the reusable cup is an important component of our overall waste reduction strategy.”

Starbucks $1 reusable cup, designed to look like the company’s paper cups, debuted in January of 2013. The plastic cup is sturdier than paper, but thinner than a typical tumbler with a lifespan of about 30 uses. The cups have interior lines to denote a "tall" or "grande" size. Customers receive a dime discount for each refill in the cup, so it pays for itself after 10 uses.

“Our partners are an extremely important element in the fabric of our culture and our merchandise is the perfect way for them to express their passion for our brand,” adds Eric Akines, director Starbucks global merchandise. “I’m excited to see partners’ stories come to life through beautiful, emotional, and engaging artwork.”

News, Starbucks