Does Magic Johnson own Starbucks? This question was and is prevalent on social media platforms such as Twitter. Read on to know why people are asking.
Magic Johnson is why the Harlem neighborhood of New York City got a Starbucks sooner rather than later. It gave the area a facelift, created jobs and a place people could gather, and above all, access Starbucks, which was primarily available in the suburbs. The NBA legend does not own Starbucks, but he did at one time own more than 100 Starbucks franchise stores, which is a staggering amount. What’s more, the partnership between Magic Johnson and Starbucks was indeed magic. Why? Starbucks is not a franchise, and most of the shares are company-owned.
How did Magic Johnson become synonymous with Starbucks? Let’s explore.
Did Magic Johnson ever own Starbucks?
Howard Schultz is the founder and largest shareholder of Starbucks. Earvin “Magic” Johnson approached Schultz and convinced him to open Starbucks in the inner city, to which the founder eventually agreed after some hesitance. The former NBA star had to use a bit of creativity to get the deal signed under the Urban Coffee Opportunities (UCO) between Starbucks and the Johnson Development Corporation (JDC) under Magic Johnson Enterprises in 1999. Since then, Magic Johnson proceeded to open over 100 stores in the urban inner cities.
In October 2010, Magic Johnson sold his Starbucks licenses back to Starbucks to instead invest in sports and other businesses. While he did own more than 100 Starbucks franchise stores and a 50 percent stake in the UCO Starbucks partnership, Magic Johnson never owned Starbucks.
Magic Johnson was already a household name as a former professional basketball player. Still, his partnership with Schultz made headlines, and for a long time, NBA fans associated Starbucks with the Magic Johnson. Though long ended, this partnership had NBA fans taking to Twitter when Starbucks launched its Black Lives Matter policy, wondering if the former NBA legend was on board with it.
The partnership with Starbucks opened the inner city to big businesses that once thought they couldn’t thrive in certain areas, especially with predominantly minorities and persons of color. Magic Johnson helped them see the spending power and available disposal income that could make big businesses such as Starbucks thrive. His customization of the menu also helped bring in more customers. Instead of a scone, he introduced more urban tastes like sweet potato pie and peach cobbler.
How many Starbucks franchises did Magic Johnson have?
Magic Johnson had 105 Starbucks franchises before selling them back to the company for a reported $75 million. In total, he helped build 125 Starbucks franchises. They were located in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, Atlanta, Detroit, Washington, San Francisco, and San Diego.
These franchises helped create jobs with health benefits and built much-needed community gathering places. With the success of the many stores, Starbucks saw that there was a ripe opportunity in urban areas. It continued to develop similar sustainable programs in other areas that bring about redevelopment.
It has indeed been more than a decade since Magic Johnson owned a Starbucks store, but people still associate him with Starbucks in inner cities and urban areas. It shows the impact that one person can have on whole communities and displays a lasting legacy’s hallmarks.
What happened to magic Johnson’s Starbucks franchises?
Magic Johnson sold the Starbucks franchises and moved on to sports-related ventures.
Does Magic Johnson still own a Starbucks franchise?
No, Magic Johnson sold all his Starbucks franchises.