Starbucks’ Facebook fan page is the epicenter of Sonics fan protest this morning. It all starts rather innocently, with Starbucks announcing the “We love you Seattle” promotion. Every Friday through June 18, you can pick up a special gift at “local participating Seattle Starbucks.”
A nice gesture, sure to engender smiles of gratitude from happy Seattleites, yes? Well, in the unlikely event that this blog post is optioned for a movie, the trailer might say: “But Starbucks forgot one thing…”
Sonics fans. Who have not forgotten that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’ spearheaded the team’s sale to Oklahoma Cityites, the overwhelming factor precipitating the team’s desertion of Seattle. Sonics fans are not feeling the love. To put it lightly. And they aren’t being shy about it.
“f*** starbucks an howard shultz, c***sucker!!” comments one Kyle Mortensen on SBUX Facebook.
Thomas Kohnstamm is a little more coherent: “Thanks for the offer of a free coffee, but I’d rather have the basketball team that I grew up on.”
The directors of Sonicsgate have even chimed in with a link to their Webby-award winning film about the team’s departure.
Other folks give Starbucks the benefit of the doubt: “I get that people are angry about the Sonics, but why bombard this fan page with rants about losing the Sonics? This is the Starbucks fan page, and we all were just invited to get free stuff on Fridays until 6/18,” writes Holly Kelley.
Dana Kubilus says: “It’s just sports anyways, get over it!”
Kubilus’ heart is in the right place, but Sonics fans are clearly not over it. Nearing the two-year anniversary of the settlement that cleared the team’s path out of town, I still hear of people who’ll tear any article about the renamed Oklahoma City Thunder out of their sports magazines; who’ll root for the Lakers rather than see the former Sonics win.
Starbucks didn’t own the Sonics, but as long as Howard Schultz is seen as the company’s face, they’ll get no love from local hoops fans.