Helping Starbucks Turn its Passion for Parks into a Reality

Starbucks Coffee Company believes there is a direct correlation between the success of its company and the vitality of the communities it serves. Starbucks selected GroundFloor Media as its public relations agency of record for the Rocky Mountain Region (Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming) in November 2005 and almost immediately looked to GFM Cares, the agency’s cause marketing practice, to help launch its nationally recognized Neighborhood Parks Program in Denver.

On behalf of Starbucks, GFM Cares partnered with Denver Parks and Recreation to identify a park and surrounding neighborhood that would benefit the most from the first in a succession of revitalization projects. Garfield Lake Park in southwest Denver was selected as the first beneficiary of the program and GFM Cares took the lead in organizing the inaugural event, coordinating everything from several hundred volunteers and logistics to marketing and public relations – including outreach to the Hispanic community. More than 200 volunteers attended the initial volunteer day and GFM Cares arranged for Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper to speak at a press conference and designate the date as “Passion for Parks Day” in Denver.

The event garnered media coverage for Starbucks’ corporate social responsibility efforts on four of the five local television networks in Denver, as well as several print and radio outlets. The inaugural Starbucks’ “Passion for Parks” day in Denver was such a resounding success that the company immediately began making plans to continue the event on an annual basis and turned to GFM Cares to help plan, execute and promote successive events.