Dec 8, 2022 - Economy

Starbucks Odyssey beta launches for select rewards members

Starbucks storefront

Starbucks Odyssey is now available for select Starbucks Rewards members and employees. Photo: Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

Starbucks entered the world of NFTs with the beta launch of the web3-enabled extension of its loyalty program.

Driving the news: Despite the ongoing crypto winter, the coffee giant announced it rolled out Starbucks Odyssey Thursday to a “small group” of rewards members and employees who joined the waitlist.

  • Selected members were scheduled to receive emails Thursday with information on how to sign up, Starbucks told Axios.
  • How many people were given access to the beta program was not available.

Catch up quick: NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique digital assets — often works of art, game characters or creative products — that are recorded on a blockchain, or digital ledger.

  • Think of them as digital collectibles, Axios' Peter Allen Clark explains.

State of play: The value of most NFTs is closely tied to the overall crypto market, which has been in full retreat this year, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick reports.

  • A single ether coin, for example, is now worth about $1,231, down from a peak of nearly $5,000 in November 2021, according to Coinbase.

Starbucks Odyssey NFTs

How it works: Select Starbucks Rewards members, who joined the waitlist that opened in September, got the first invites to sign up for the program Thursday.

  • They have to follow the steps to join the program within three days, Starbucks told Axios.
  • Participants will be rewarded for completing Journeys, which Starbucks described as "a series of entertaining, interactive activities to earn collectible ‘Journey Stamps’ (NFTs)."
  • They will also earn "Odyssey Points that will unlock access to exciting new benefits and experiences."

Meanwhile, each digital collectible stamp will include a point value based on its rarity and ownership will be secured on the blockchain.

  • Odyssey Points are also different than the stars given out through Starbucks Rewards.

What's next: Limited-edition stamps will soon be available for purchase with a credit card for select participants through a marketplace within the Starbucks Odyssey web app experience.

  • Beginning in January, Starbucks will offer monthly invitations to a wider group of members on the waitlist.

What they’re saying: Brady Brewer, Starbucks executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said in a statement that Odyssey is the company’s “next big innovation in loyalty to recognize, surprise and delight” loyalty members.

  • “We are leveraging Web3 technology to reward and connect with our members in new ways, such as offering collectible, ownable digital stamps, a new digital community, and opening access to new benefits and immersive coffee experiences — both physically and digitally,” Brewer said.

Starbucks for Life game with free coffee, prizes

Separately, the Starbucks for Life game is now open for all Starbucks Rewards members.

Details: The game is available for loyalty members through Jan. 1 and no purchase is necessary to play.

  • There are two grand prizes of Starbucks for Life — a free drink or food item credit daily for 30 years — with an approximate retail value of $64,605.
  • The total value of all prizes is approximately $3.28 million.

Zoom out: McDonald's also has a promotion where free food and a coveted McGold card are up for grabs now through Christmas.

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