The Final Countdown!

Anticipating the inaugural

Published in the December 2011 Issue Published online: Dec 08, 2011 Frank Muir
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Since August, we have been counting down the days to the inaugural Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

It's December and Game Day is upon us!

This bowl, which was previously called the Humanitarian Bowl, has provided us with an exciting opportunity to remind millions of folks across the country of the superior quality and nutritional benefits of Idaho potatoes.

The game will air on ESPN and be viewed by more than two million football fans, who will have no doubt of the sponsor of this cold-weather game. Prominent signage bearing the signature Idaho potato and the new eye-catching Famous Idaho Potato Bowl logos has been permanently placed throughout the stadium and the IPC's popular television commercial will air several times during the game.

However, our publicity efforts extend well beyond Game Day. On August 2, when we announced this high-profile sponsorship, we generated over 160 million media impressions. Since then the IPC and its agencies have been working hard to generate press for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl beyond the sports pages.

The iconic Mr. Food and long-time friend of the IPC traveled to Boise to shoot one of his daily television cooking vignettes on the blue turf at Bronco Stadium. His message: Make sure you include Idaho potatoes on your tailgating menu. This two-minute segment will be seen by close to five million viewers, who are primarily women responsible for the household shopping. Mr. Food also ran an advertorial about the game in his e-newsletter, which is distributed to one million consumers.

We added a special microsite on our website, www.idahopotato.com, to promote this landmark event. We also hosted a national sweepstakes on our Facebook page, where one lucky person and a guest had a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

While this sponsorship is proving to be a successful reminder to consumers to look for the "Grown in Idaho" seal, it has also provided us with the opportunity to communicate the importance of the potato industry to the state of Idaho. Potatoes alone generate over 30,000 jobs and contribute over $3 billion in revenue to the state annually. Idaho's agricultural foundation is one of the reasons why it is one of the most fiscally secure states in the country.

The Boise-based bowl, which was first played in 1997, features a top selection from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and the Mid-American Conference (MAC), and is the nation's longest-running outdoor cold-weather Bowl.

Be sure to tune in to this year's game, December 17 at 3:30 p.m. MST on ESPN.

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