Kids Take the Field at the Northwestern Mutual Youth Football Clinic featuring Marcus Robertson and Chad Brown

On Saturday, June 18, more than 200 children from Southern California, ran out on the field at Rose Bowl Stadium to take part in the Northwestern Mutual Youth Football Clinic featuring Marcus Robertson and Chad Brown.

The event, hosted by the Rose Bowl Game and the City of Pasadena, was a free half-day clinic that gave attendees the chance to work with college football coaches; run offensive, defensive and agility drills; learn proper techniques to promote on-field safety; and learn about the importance of character development and good sportsmanship.

“The Rose Bowl Game’s annual youth football clinic began in 2010 and it’s really evolved through the years,” said Brittany Mohr, Senior Manager of Team and Conference Operations of the Rose Bowl Game. “With the support of our partners at Northwestern Mutual and the City of Pasadena, this year’s clinic was one of our most successful clinics to date and we couldn’t be more pleased.”

For the first time in the clinic’s history, the event took place at the Rose Bowl Stadium and included community booths at the Court of Champions and a chance for parents to receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium.

“This year’s clinic gave us an opportunity to engage our community in a way that we’ve never done before,” said LaWayne Williams, Senior Director of Community Relations at the Tournament of Roses. “It’s all about giving back to the youth in our area and for the first time in its history, we also worked with local organizations to have a community activation space that both kids and parents could enjoy.”

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American Honda and the Tournament of Roses: Still Blooming After 56 Years

In 1959, American Honda was established in a storefront on Pico Boulevard near downtown Los Angeles.  Two years later, looking for ways to become part of American society and the local community, the fledgling company agreed to partner with the Tournament of Roses for the 1962 Rose Parade, supplying two-wheel vehicles for Parade operations.  It was from these humble beginnings that a long and successful partnership was born.

“The relationship between Honda and the Tournament of Roses has grown organically over the years,” said Steve Morikawa, vice president, Corporate Relations & Social Responsibility for American Honda.  “But at its heart, our participation has always been about wishing families a happy new year.”

1971 Tournament of Roses volunteer members on official Honda scooters.

1971 Tournament of Roses volunteer members on official Honda scooters.

What started as two-wheeled vehicles has grown many times over.  Though the years, many Honda products have been called into service on New Year’s Day, including generators, automobiles and scooters.   Honda became the official vehicle in 1994, providing automobiles and vans for official Tournament transportation needs, as well as all the now-ubiquitous motor scooters used by white-suited Tournament volunteers.  Honda’s multipurpose utility vehicle, Big Red, made its Rose Parade debut in 2010.

As the Parade has grown and evolved, so has the relationship with Honda.  The company became the first-ever presenting sponsor of the Rose Parade in 2011 (the only company to ever hold this distinction), and the sponsor of the opening show extravaganza in 2015.

2015 Honda Opening Show

2015 Honda Opening Show

Honda has also been a float participant for 40 years, bringing its “Challenging Spirit” to the Parade by entering floats that are innovative and unique, a philosophy that has led to some spectacular sights on New Year’s Day, including a 207-foot- long train laden with fireworks; a working roller-coaster; and a 50 foot-tall humanoid robot, to name just a few.

As the presenting sponsor, Honda’s float introduces the Parade theme and is no longer part of the judging process, but prior to 2011, Honda’s entries were award-winners, earning 15 trophies between 1995 and 2010.

Honda and the Tournament of Roses also employ Honda’s innovative environmental technologies to help the Parade function more efficiently and reduce its carbon footprint.  For the past seven years, Honda’s float has been propelled by a specially configured hybrid, low-emission engine to help the float function more efficiently and reduce its carbon footprint. And, the parade theme banner is also powered by a low emission Honda hybrid engine.

Honda and the Tournament of Roses have worked side-by-side for more than 50 years to bring entertainment and tradition to people around the world and to enhance the Southern California communities in which we all work and live.  The Tournament of Roses is proud to have Honda as a partner in America’s New Year Celebration.

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2016 American Honda “Nature’s Hope”

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History of the Rose Bowl Game Trophy

TROPHY 32814_046Since the first Rose Bowl Game, when Michigan played Stanford at Tournament Park, three different championship trophies have represented the Rose Bowl Game.

The first trophy, known as the Helms Trophy (Helms Hall of Fame), was a “perpetual trophy” presented to the winner of the game each year. This trophy used from 1902 through 1989 was given a new inscription each year with the name of the winning university. This large silver bowl is sculpted in roses and includes intricate design details.

Prior to 1989, the Rose Bowl Game champion did not receive their own trophy to take back to campus. However, the teams in the 1942 Rose Bowl Game, the only game played outside of Pasadena in Durham, North Carolina due to concerns surrounding World War II, did receive their own trophy. That year, host Duke University created a trophy for the victor of that year’s game, Oregon State also adding the names of the players and staff. The Duke University team was awarded the same trophy to acknowledge the great effort that allowed the Rose Bowl Game to be played that year under challenging circumstances.

The desire to create a Rose Bowl Game trophy that could be given to the winning university gave way to the creation of the second Rose Bowl Game trophy. In 1989, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses commissioned the Pasadena Arts School to create a design that could be adopted as the Game’s second trophy. This trophy donned a gold football on a marble base with silver goal posts stretching up to the sky. This trophy was used from 1989 until 2004.

As the structure of college football post-season bowls continued to evolve, the Tournament of Roses began the creative process of producing a trophy reflective of the greatest college football game in America – a trophy that would be an adequate representation of the “Granddaddy of Them All.”

The Rose Bowl Game’s third and current trophy, the Leishman Trophy, is handmade each year by Tiffany & Co. The trophy is approximately 21-inches tall and features a 3/4-size football rendered entirely in sterling silver. A replica of this trophy is located in the football room of the Tournament House along with the other two past Rose Bowl Game trophies. A new trophy is created each year for the champion and takes close to three months to complete.

The Leishman Trophy has only been altered once since its inception in 2005 to commemorate the 100th Rose Bowl Game in 2014. That trophy was trimmed in gold to honor the special occasion. This trophy, truly one-of-a-kind, can be found in the athletic department of that years’ champion, Michigan State University.

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