PASADENA (CBS) — For the first time in over half a century, the upcoming Rose Parade will be without one of its biggest sponsors.
St. Louis-based brewer Anheuser-Busch, makers of Budweiser beer, decided in May not take part in the parade, a company spokesman said Tuesday.
The absence means there will be no team of Clydesdales parading down Colorado Boulevard for the first time in 58 years.
“We’ve truly enjoyed being a part of the Rose Parade and appreciate the great work on our floats over the years,” Anheuser-Busch vice president Rob McCarthy told the Pasadena Star-News.
He said the company is shifting its marketing strategy to invest in “events that create a more direct connection with beer drinkers, and where we can discuss and sample the Budweiser brand.”
The announcement means the Rose Parade will have three less floats on Jan. 2, making a total of 41 compared with 44 this year, according to the Star-News.
Eleven sponsors have pulled out of the parade so far, including several Southland cities such as West Covina and Beverly Hills.
However, the new year will also bring eight new sponsors to the parade in 2012.
(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)