Starbucks backs Seattle Kraken’s training complex, Climate Pledge Arena

Coffeehouse chain Starbucks has agreed a multi-year deal to sponsor the training complex of NHL expansion franchise Seattle Kraken, with the wide-ranging partnership also granting the company pouring rights at the team’s Climate Pledge Arena.

Seattle-headquartered Starbucks will serve as a ‘community impact partner’ of the training complex, which will open in September and officially be known as the Kraken Community Iceplex.

The complex will be located in the Northgate neighbourhood of Seattle and will feature three rinks and a dedicated community space. It is hoped the venue will serve as a hub for youth and adult ice hockey, as well as a training centre for Kraken players.

Starbucks’ partnership with the Kraken will focus on generating access to resources and opportunities for young people, especially girls and Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) youth.

As part of the agreement, a Starbucks Community Store will open within the Kraken Community Iceplex. It will be the 21st store of its kind, with each devoted to economic development and opportunity in underserved neighbourhoods.

A percentage of the Community Store profits at Kraken Community Iceplex will support the Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena’s One Roof Foundation and other local non-profit organisations.

Starbucks will also hold exclusive coffee pouring rights at Kraken Community Iceplex and Climate Pledge Arena, which is due to open ahead of the start of the Kraken’s inaugural NHL campaign in September.

Other features of the partnership will include a programme that invites 100 community members to every Kraken home game, as well as key investments and programming with the One Roof Foundation and local organisations.

Tod Leiweke, chief executive of the Kraken, said: “Since inception, the Kraken have been committed to the greater Seattle community, and there is no better partner to amplify this commitment than Starbucks. We are proud to join forces with such a like-minded change agent. We both agree collectively we will make a lasting impact on our region.”

Starbucks chief executive Kevin Johnson added: “Starbucks has tremendous pride in our hometown, and we are honoured to work with an organisation like the Seattle Kraken which shares our values.

“The people in our city represent the very best of us, and working together, we’re committed to strengthening the Seattle community, celebrating our neighbours, and building a lasting partnership that uplifts the lives of people and families across the Puget Sound.”

Climate Pledge Arena will have a capacity of 18,100. The arena is named after The Climate Pledge, a climate change campaign founded by Amazon and Global Optimism that calls on signatories to be net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040.

With significant investment from Amazon and arena developer Oak View Group, the venue is expected to be the first net zero carbon certified arena in the world and set a new sustainability bar for the sports and events industry.

The arena will also serve as the home of WNBA basketball team the Seattle Storm and host live music and other events. The project centres on a complete redevelopment of the former KeyArena on the Seattle Center campus.

Image: Seattle Kraken