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There's a Secret Starbucks Somewhere in Sochi

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NBC is breaking the rules (sort of) and all because they apparently can't report without their caramel macchiatos.

Since it's not an official sponsor, Starbucks is prohibited from being at the 2014 Winter Olympics; the only coffee that's technically allowed to be served is McDonald's. But that hasn't stopped NBC from sneaking a pop-up Starbucks stand into the media center—and it's far from a small operation. The store has more staff than 57 delegations at the Olympics combined, is running 24 hours a day, includes a rotating staff of 15 baristas from Moscow (NBC flew them in and is paying their wages), and has security.

"It's what Napoleon said: An army travels on its stomach," John Fritsche, NBC's senior vice president of operations told the Daily Mail. "We, in a lot of ways, operate that way."

Fritsche also said that NBC is sharing with their neighboring journalists, but reporters from NPR and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review have reportedly been unable to get their hands on any java. 

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The IOC and McDonald's are aware of the Starbucks but say that as long as NBC doesn't publicize the event (too late, I guess!) or suggest any association with the Olympics or open it to the public, the brand can keep its makeshift coffee shop running.

"It's a personal item," Fritsche says. "And a huge morale booster."


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