announced that the world-famous Tournament of Roses Parade, held on New Year's Day in Pasadena, California and broadcast across the globe, will change its name. Come January 1, the new name will be 122nd Rose Parade Presented by Honda. A new event logo is currently in the works, which will incorporate the Honda logo. Honda has also laid claim to the lead float in the parade.
I'm a traditionalist in many ways. And, a 121-year-old parade has a lot of tradition. Sure, it has evolved over the years, but it's basically remained unchanged in the major ways. As for acquiring a sponsor, I understand the necessary evil. It's an expensive event and a little corporate money is no doubt going to ease the stress on the organizers. However, incorporating the Honda logo into the parade logo is too much (the new logo has not been unveiled yet, but I anticipate a train wreck).
In addition, I have to question the change in the event title. Why not just leave it as the Tournament of Roses Parade (and then add "Presented by Honda)? The event headquarters in Pasadena is even called Tournament House. Or maybe it will seek a corporate sponsor and undergo a name change, too (El Pollo Loco House, perhaps?).
The next issue probably isn't PC to say, but I'm going to say it anyway. The parade is a long-standing American tradition which is now being sponsored by a Japanese company. Is it just a matter of time until tourists in Washington D.C. will enjoy "The White House Tour, Sponsored by Toyota"?
Please don't misconstrue that as a racist remark, it's not. It's just pro-American (and, yes, there is a difference). During this terrible recession, with so many people out of work and running low on self-esteem, Americans need to feel proud. The Tournament of Roses Parade is one event that unites us all on a day that represents hope and new beginnings. To have one of this country's most popular events sponsored by a company in another country, well, that's just sad.
I understand how event sponsorships work and, generally, it boils down to an issue of money. How much is a company willing to pay to be associated with an event? How much does the event want, or need, the company's moola?
I know I'm old-fashioned on the issue of sponsorships (really, I do know). Heck, I've lived in Los Angeles my whole life and grew up attending events at The Forum. When Great Western Bank secured naming rights on the facility in 1988, which lasted until 2003, I refused to call it The Great Western Forum. First off, tradition trumped sponsorship and it would always be The Forum to me. Secondly, Great Western wasn't compensating me to advertise for them, so I wasn't compelled to do so by using their name when I referenced the venue.
So, am I the only one bothered by The Tournament of Roses' new name, new logo, and new sponsor? I need a reality check.