Eagle, ID — Idaho potatoes have been the naming sponsor of America’s most exciting cold weather bowl game, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (FIPB), for 10 years, and 2021 didn’t disappoint the fans in the stands and the two million folks who watched the high-scoring game live on ESPN.
While University of Wyoming defeated Kent State University, 52-38, and Wyoming’s Levi Williams was the first quarterback to complete 200 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns in a bowl game, it was all about the potatoes.
- Boise State University’s football stadium is known for its iconic blue turf, but its official name is Albertsons Stadium; Albertsons is one of the most popular grocery store chains in America and the ‘go to’ retailer for Idaho potatoes.
- The bowl game logo is a giant fluffy baked potato that spans the middle of the field.
- The trophy is a crystal bowl filled with plastic potatoes.
- The name, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, says it all. Unlike the Citrus or Orange Bowls, sports fans know exactly who the title sponsor of the iconic game is.
The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC), the sponsor of the game, leverages every opportunity available to promote Idaho potatoes and the famous “Grown in Idaho” seal to keep America’s favorite vegetable top of mind for customers especially during the busy holiday season when they are shopping and dining out. Product mentions include:
- ESPN television and radio ads
- Video board announcements
- Idaho potato logos on the field, in the end zones and on the sidelines and fences
- Multiple mentions by the sportscasters
- Game day program advertising with the IPC logo on the cover and a several-page spread
In addition to the action-packed game, viewers tuned in for two other reasons:
- French Fry Dump — Instead of Gatorade, a huge bucket of French fries is dumped on the winning coach’s head. A finale you’ll only see at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl!
- Spuddy Buddy – The IPC’s mascot with the big eyes and infectious smile has been named by both ESPN and SBNation the #1 College Football Mascot. From chest bumps with the other mascots to stunting with the cheerleaders to “spudtacular” dance moves that make the crowd go wild, all eyes are always anticipating the giant tater’s next move.
The game also provides an opportunity to promote a few of the IPC’s other important programs:
- The iconic Big Idaho® Potato Truck was parked amidst all the tailgating activities, providing a backdrop for thousands of selfies.
- The IPC presented its long-time charity partner RODS, a non-profit organization that helps find homes in the U.S. for orphaned children in other countries with Down syndrome, an oversize check for $25,000, representing its annual donation to this worthy charity. Brett Jensen, Chairman, IPC, presented the check on the field during the second quarter to RODS Executive Director, Mike McKnight.
The FIPB has also helped launch the careers of several well-known professional football players. Two of the most recent include:
- Zach Wilson, now quarterback for the NY Jets set a BYU record and tied the NCAA bowl record as a freshman throwing a perfect game — 18 for 18 passing, 317 yards and four touchdowns when the Cougars defeated Western Michigan in 2018.
- Josh Allen, now quarterback for the Buffalo Bills declared his candidacy for the NFL draft in 2017 after he threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter for the Wyoming Cowboys, defeating the Michigan Cheppewas 37-14.
Information on the 2022 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will be made available mid-year.
About the Idaho Potato Commission
Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency that is responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho®” seal, a federally registered trademark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil, give Idaho® potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance. These ideal growing conditions are what differentiate Idaho® potatoes from potatoes grown in other states. For more information, visit www.idahopotato.com.