One of my favorite modern conspiracy theories involves Starbucks. You know those photos, ubiquitous on social media, of someone’s name egregiously misspelled on a cup of coffee? Like, “My name’s Paul, not Pole! OMG!” followed by some ironic hashtags.
What if I were to tell you that it was all part of a grander plan? That the best way to expand the pool of paying customers is to err in the spelling of your existing ones, because any publicity is good publicity?
Well, this is not one of those stories.
Michael Phelps went into a Starbucks recently with his wife and a friend. Clearly, the barista knew who Phelps is. The barista still didn’t write his name on the cup.
With 23 gold medals, Michael Phelps is indeed the “GOAT,” the Greatest Of All Time. And by sharing another cup photo to his 2.2 million Twitter followers and 3.2 million Instagram followers, Starbucks continues to profit despite its inability to identify even world-famous celebrities by their proper name.