"It's official!" said an overly excited Mayor Kevin Johnson at today's press conference at Sacramento City Hall. Even though not a shovelful of dirt has been turned on the new Sacramento arena, it already has a name. "Starbucks Center Coliseum it is, or The Starbucks for short," said an ecstatic Howard Schultz.
When asked about the naming rights, Schultz said, "I'm thrilled to be involved with the NBA again. I couldn't talk about basketball when asked about it recently because of the nature of these kinds of deals. I'm happy I can now speak about a sport I've loved since my young days in Brooklyn. By the by, how great is it that my hometown has its own professional team again?"
This naming rights deal is different than any other deal in the history of sports. Not only does the record-breaking deal include naming rights to the stadium, but the food concessions as well. No longer will there be hot dogs and beer; in their place will be Chai lattes and caramel biscottis. No longer will the house organ blast rap or rock anthems; instead, smooth jazz, CDs of which will be available at the concession stands. This, Schultz assured us, will add to the "Starbucks...er, Arena experience". "Much of the credit also goes to Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive for working with us to leverage the Starbucks brand in a way that takes your arena experience into the future," Schultz gushed.
Schultz says he envisions the "Starbucks experience" taking over the NBA. As part of the Kings' broadcast crew's new contract, they are no longer to describe them as Slam Dunks but Grande Dunks. When asked by a local reporter if Schultz would ever sell the naming rights to someone else, he seemed offended and closed the press conference by saying, "Owning naming rights is a public trust!"