by Laura Berthold Monteros, from a press release
The Tournament of Roses announced today that it has created a development office to oversee broadcast partnerships, all parade participants, strategic partnerships and advise on the overall entertainment and creative elements of the Rose Parade. Amy Kule, who last year launched the strategic and creative consulting agency Merry Wonderer, has been tapped to lead the development office. She will continue in her position at that company. Also joining the Rose Parade Development Office and reporting to Kule is Eric Solomon, as Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships. He will lead business development and sponsorship engagement for the Rose Parade.
Kule, who served as a float judge for the 2013 Rose Parade. Prior to starting Merry Wonderer, she was the Group Vice President of Macy’s Parade and Entertainment Group. She was responsible for producing Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, as well as other events.
Kule said, “I’m passionate about large scale live entertainment events and experiences and honored to join the Tournament of Roses as they look toward the future with the creation of this brand-new office. I will lead the team and focus efforts on working with our great partners and enormously talented and dedicated volunteers to expand and diversify the entertainment and business model of the parade as well as its surrounding year-long event slate and charitable giving initiatives.”
Solomon most recently served as Director, Strategic Partnerships – Culinary for WME | IMG where he launched the US expansion of the global Taste Festival platform. Solomon was Associate Director, Corporate Sponsorships for the Spirit Awards and worked in client services for Wasserman Media Group.
The Tournament of Roses has been searching for ways to make the Rose Parade more entertaining and more attractive to a younger audience for years. In interviews with incoming presidents, The Rose Examiner has frequently heard this concern. The hiring of Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer David Eads in 2017 brought new eyes to a traditional event, and the formation of a development department is a much-needed addition to the TOR Association. It is hoped that new returning sponsors will be developed, and a more systematic approach to inviting one-time sponsor to mark events such as anniversaries, new offerings, and celebrations with an entry in the parade. As the media release said, “the parade is marching forward in a new era, maintaining its historic roots while layering in new entertainment features.”