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NBC's Secret Sochi Olympics Starbucks Exposed!

Updated on February 23, 2014
The warning
The warning
Sochi Starbucks
Sochi Starbucks
An easy 500 calorie buzz
An easy 500 calorie buzz
Starbucks elsewhere in Russia
Starbucks elsewhere in Russia

Which has better coffee-Starbucks or McDonald's?

One of the more recent sporting events that the public in Sochi, Russia, has during the Winter Olympics, is to find a good cup of coffee in a nice American size coffee mug. Unlike most others, Americans like a good 8-12 oz. cup of coffee, not a tiny 4-6 oz.

The official sponsor for such an event is McDonalds with its golden arches. Only the sponsors can sell their product and be open to the public there. The American TV network, NBC, and its 2,500 personnel that covered the Olympics in Sochi, decided to employ Starbucks to serve them in their private TV compound there that only NBC employees have access.

In Russia, there are only three other Starbucks- one in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Rostov. These are open to the public. Because the Starbucks in Sochi is private (because Starbucks was not a sponsor for the Olympics) the secret was kept until NBC employees began to leave the Starbucks and their TV compound with Starbuck's coffee mugs in hand. This store has 15 baristas that double as security to stop the mugs from leaving the store.

At first, the employees at NBC did adhere to the secret by obeying the sign in the store that read: "Please enjoy your Starbucks within NBC space only, Do not leave NBC space with your Starbucks cup".

NBC patrons busted for trying to steal the mugs are not allowed back into the store in addition to those who work for other networks or Russians. Worse, NBC staff that did manage to snag a Starbuck's mug and took it to their office and then try to leave with it later, lose it. To avoid this bad press, Starbucks has changed the iconic mugs used to non-descript ones with no Starbucks branding.

Is the Starbuckmania really worth the effort? Is it so iconic high level people want to steal and smuggle out their mugs? Beatlemania, I can understand, but Starbuckmania? The amount of actual coffee in a typical Starbucks drink is small, maybe 80 mg, and then heavily diluted with all kinds of flavors and calories.

Maybe the popularity is really because it is free!


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    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      4 years ago from California

      It's the press, what else would you expect. So the press had coffee and the Canadians had the beer vending machines. Some people didn't suffer too much did they?


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