The Wall Street Journal ran a story today detailing the lengths NBC has gone to secure its beloved Starbucks coffee. While somewhat fascinating in just how much effort it took to bring Starbucks to its headquarters in Sochi, it’s equally fascinating to learn just how much NBC staffers covet their Stabucks coffee.
The telling, takeaway quote comes courtesy of NBC senior VP of Olympic operations, John Fritsche. From the Journal:
The secret coffee shop is secluded within an NBC facility and isn’t open to the public. “It’s a personal item,” says Mr. Fritsche, who calls the drinks perk “a huge morale booster.”
A huge morale booster? Christ. Has a date been set for when coffee lovers must finally conclude their rice milk, cappuccino-fueled gallop through society?
Some other captivating details:
- Baristas in the secret Starbucks serve free coffee 24-hours-a-day to the roughly 2,500 people NBC has stationed in Sochi.
- NBC flies in a rotating crew from various Starbucks locations in Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg, among others) and sets them up with accommodations.
- “It’s what Napoleon said: An army travels on its stomach,” says John Fritsche, NBC’s senior vice president of Olympic operations. “We, in a lot of ways, operate that way.” Holy hell. But of course.
- NBC keeps “pretty tight security” around the coffee, but notes that “we don’t mind sharing a bit” with neighboring broadcasters. Just a bit though, as this is Starbucks coffee, which is more or less akin striking oil in your backyard.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review apparently no longer has access to the secret Starbucks, but still uses his Starbucks cup to refill with vending machine coffee. Inspiring and crucial to know.
If this doesn’t summarize the unrivaled excitement of the winter Olympics, I’m not sure what will.