Honda Scales Back

The 2010 Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) Invitational Showcase will feature eight of the top HBCU (Historically Black College and University) marching bands as opposed to the usual 10.

As in years past, the bands are selected in two rounds. In the first, one band from each HBCU conference and one independent program will be chosen based on three polls weighted equally: online fan vote, band directors and school presidents. In the second round, three more bands are selected at large based on the online poll.

In years past an American Honda representative traveled to each school to present a plaque at a halftime show; however, this aspect of the program has also been cut due to economic reasons.

“This is the first time that they’ve had to scale back due to the state of the economy and how direly it’s affected the automotive industry,” says Ronald E. Childs, vice president of media relations for Flowers Communications Group, a public relations firm that works with the HBOB. “That’s not lost on American Honda, and, to their credit, they continue to keep the program alive. The participating HBCUs are very grateful that it still exists.”

According to Childs, the participants and fans have been receptive to and understanding of the changes. “I think the prevailing opinion is that this will permit more marquee bands to participate and will result in a better show,” Childs says. “The show was quite lengthy, beyond three hours in some cases. This year we’ll have a tighter and more representative show.”

The event will take place on Jan. 30 in Atlanta. For more information, visit www.hondabattleofthebands.com.

Chase Sandborn

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