Starbucks Ends Sponsorship Deals With Seattle Sonics NBA Team

STARBUCKS FILTERING OUT OF SPONSORSHIP OF SONICS: Now that the head of Starbucks no longer owns the Sonics, there’s no reason to keep sponsoring the team:

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The SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER brews up the news of the coffee company’s decision to stop advertising with the Seattle NBA club.Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz was also leader of the Sonics until 2006, when he sold the team to a group of Oklahoma City businessmen. The java juggernaut has poured about $3.7 million into Sonics sponsorship since Schultz bought the team in 2001.

A Starbucks spokesperson said the company was “moving away from sports sponsorships”, and concentrating their marketing efforts on more local events.

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The coffee makers are also ending their ad deals with the Mariners baseball team. The spokesperson claimed that the Sonics sale and the stoppage of Starbucks support was “coincidental.”Since the new owners have been threatening to move the Sonics to the Sooner State, Schultz may not see any perks about continuing deals with his ex-team that could be out of the Pacific Northwest before too long.

And David Stern seems to share Schultz’s sentiments, as the NBA commish doesn’t see a solution to the Sonics staying in Seattle:

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Owner Clay Bennett has given an October 31 deadline for the city & state to have a new proposal in place to replace KeyArena, or he’ll file for relocation. Washington taxpayers and politicians have been steadily opposed to publicly financing a new arena.Stern has been unhappy with efforts (or lack of effort) in getting the team a new place to play, saying the city has “no heart whatsoever for assisting a Sonics team.”

That’s too bad, David. Have a grande mocha latte, you’ll feel better.