Starbucks Partners With LeBron James Family Foundation On New Community Store

LeBron James is best known for his numerous professional basketball accomplishments, such as setting the all-time scoring record. But his athletic renown has also led him to participate in numerous brand endorsements and promotions, including some from food companies, like Baskin-Robbins, McDonald's, and Dunkin' Donuts. And he must've learned a thing or two from being a big player in the brand world, as James owns the successful Blaze pizza chain.

But James isn't all about the money; He has also leveraged his celebrity to build and grow The LeBron James Family Foundation, an organization designed to help support the underprivileged in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. The foundation's I PROMISE Program, cooperates with schools and local organizations and has helped more than 1,400 Akron-area students receive mentorships, educational sponsorships, and sports programs.

It's not uncommon for big names to come together to do impressive things, and a recent announcement from James, along with coffee giant Starbucks, sheds some light on a new opportunity to help support his foundation. 

Starbucks teams up with James under new license agreement

Starbucks announced it has entered into a partnership with The LeBron James Family Foundation to create a licensed Community Store that will operate within the Three Thirty multi-use facility in Akron. The Starbucks location will be the first of its kind in the U.S., and all proceeds from this outlet will go directly to the foundation — allowing people who stop by for a cup of coffee to directly impact and support their community in doing so. The location is set to open on March 30, 2023, in the heart of the city on Market Street. And because all of the employees are I PROMISE students, teachers, parents, or other family members, these opportunities are building strong bonds within the local community. 

The Starbucks Community Store Program isn't new. It was launched in 2015 with the specific goal of creating a way to support communities directly. By 2030, the company plans to have 1,000 such locations open around the world.

About House Three Thirty

House Three Thirty, where the Starbucks Community Store will be located, is a new project in the Akron area designed to help people gain important job skills and work towards their life goals. Speaking on behalf of the foundation in a press release, Michele Campbell, the Executive Director for the LeBron James Family Foundation said, "We're so thankful to Starbucks for trusting us to help rewrite the handbook on what job training looks like and how we can employ people for their futures. What you can expect from this location is caring and prepared team members, 'be best' service, a warm and welcoming environment, and a community model that we believe can change the world."

The Starbucks Community Store will feature art from Terran Washington, a local Ohio artist. In addition, the location will offer intentional programming and experiences that are specifically geared toward supporting economic opportunity within the city. The location is likely to carry all of the popular Starbucks drinks so many seek out. The assistant store manager of a local Starbucks, D'Onjai White, who is also a House Three Thirty Team Member shared, "The opportunity to learn, work and serve my community in this incredible way is life-changing for me and everyone who works [here]."