Lights, Camera, Action!

Hockey star Joe Pavelski helps promote Wisconsin potatoes

Published online: Jan 09, 2018 Articles Dana Rady, Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association
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This column appears in the January 2018 issue of Potato Grower.

Aug. 1 was a day full of fun, excitement, hard work and collaboration for the Wisconsin potato industry. That day, about two dozen people worked with San Jose Sharks hockey player Joe Pavelski, a native of Plover, Wis., on a photo shoot and commercial that are sure to draw attention to America’s favorite vegetable in the Badger State and throughout the Midwest.

The commercial, the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association’s (WPVGA) most extensive to date, is a result of its promotions committee’s sponsorship with the television show Mad Dog and Merrill, which offers the production of a commercial, among other incentives.

The commercial begins with Pavelski doing drills on the ice when he notices a coach and young hockey team coming into the rink for practice. As he skates up to the team, one of the players recognizes him and says Pavelski’s name in awe. At that point, the coach lists off Joe’s many credentials and accomplishments as a hockey player, to which another player asks Pavelski how he got so good.

After sharing with the group that his secret to success is hard work and nutrition from eating Wisconsin potatoes, yet another player acts doubtful that is possible.

It’s at this point that Pavelski recalls a memory of sitting at a dinner table with his family and a young girl asking grandpa to pass the potatoes. Pavelski immediately looks up from what he’s doing and says, “I got this!” Pavelski immediately raises his hockey stick and pulls the bowl of potatoes towards the young girl, clearing every dish and glass in its way. An obviously normal practice for Pavelski has his family in shock that he would do such a thing. Pavelski looks up from his plate and has a difficult time comprehending why the room has gone quiet.

The commercial ends with Pavelski skating up to a goal saying, “Healthy and delicious Wisconsin potatoes,” as a final way of communicating the benefits potatoes provide in powering performance, health and nutrition, especially for active lifestyles both in pre- and post-activity.

It’s a message that fits in with Potatoes USA’s focus on showcasing the importance of potatoes for professional athletes, aspiring athletes and anyone who incorporates physical activity of some sort into their day.

It’s a message that’s taking potato nutrition to new heights and keeping America’s favorite vegetable at the center of people’s plates.