Starbucks Stadium or maybe even Starbucks Arena could be coming in the next few years.
The global coffee chain recently filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to protect its name for the purpose of “promoting business, sports, and entertainment events of others” and “providing stadium and training facilities for sports and entertainment activities.” The application was filed June 2.
Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney, broke the news Friday morning, and tweeted, “This is how a company would file a trademark application if it intends to get naming rights to a stadium.”
Starbucks has filed a new trademark application for “providing stadium facilities for sports and entertainment activities.”
— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) June 11, 2021
A handful of restaurants have spent money on naming rights to stadiums or arenas in exchange for massive exposure. The list includes Little Caesars Arena, KFC Yum! Center, Smoothie King Center, Bojangles Coliseum, Dunkin’ Donuts Center, and Raising Cane’s River Center Arena, among several others.
Naming rights to stadiums and arenas typically cost millions of dollars and last several years. For example, Staples signed a 20-year, $120 million deal in the late 1990s to win naming rights for the home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. In 2009 the company signed a lifetime deal. FedEx paid $205 million in 1999 to gain the naming rights to the stadium that houses the Washington Football Team.
It’s unclear what venue Starbucks would go after, but its hometown of Seattle seems to already be taken. Lumen/CenturyLink, which has the naming rights to the home of the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Sounders, paid $162.7 million to extend its contract through 2033. In 2018, the Seattle Mariners partnered with T-Mobile on a 25-year, $87.5 million deal. And last year, Amazon spent between $300 million and $400 million to secure naming rights to the home of the Seattle Storm and the future NHL franchise Seattle Kraken.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will review Starbucks’ application by early September.