Starbucks Signs William Morris to Discover New Entertainment Deals

Written by James MacGregor on . Posted in Finance


Starbucks SignStarbucks has signed Hollywood talent agency William Morris to suggest music, film and book projects for the Seattle-based coffee retailer to consider marketing and distributing in its stores, according to the Los Angeles Times.


Starbucks entered the movie marketing industry by promoting the feature film Akeelah and the Bee - which opened with slow box-office returns of an estimated $6.3 million - in its 5,500 North American stores. Starbucks promoted the movie on coffee sleeves and through barista recommendations. The movie's soundtrack was also available in stores.

While Starbucks didn't invest in production, it got a producer credit on the film -along with Lionsgate and 2929 Entertainment - and will receive part of the profit after Lionsgate and 2929 recover their costs.

Though Starbucks founder Howard Schultz - who also serves on the board at DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. - has said the company doesn't plan to finance movie productions, it does want to become an entertainment and "lifestyle" destination, selling CDs, DVDs and books.