After 121 years as an independent event, the iconic New Year's Day Rose Parade has sold its naming rights to the American Honda Motor Company, the U.S.-based headquarters of the Japanese car manufacturer. The name of the 2012 event will be "The 122nd Rose Parade, Presented by Honda." Honda will get the lead float in the parade, and full usage rights for the Tournament of Roses. The name "Honda" has been incorporated into the parade's trademark rose logo. The naming rights were sold to Honda for an undisclosed sum. The public can expect some changes in the event's marketing to more prominently tout Honda's sponsorship, but other than that, parade organizers pledge little will change. Sheri Wish, Chief revenue officer for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, denies that the deal indicates the parade is having financial difficulties. "We are not NASCAR," she says, hinting about that event's race cars plastered with corporate logos. "We are not here to commercially profit from this brand." A Tournament of Roses press release announcing the change calls Honda the "Presenting Sponsor," hinting that other sponsorships may be for sale as well. The deal with Honda will last for three years, after which the naming rights for the parade will presumably be up for sale once again to the highest corporate bidder.
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