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In the final seconds of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the Ohio University Bobcats defeated the Utah State University Aggies by a single point. But the Idaho Potato Commission was perhaps the biggest winner, scoring more than 4.3 billion media impressions as a result of multiple marketing initiatives that supported the college bowl game.
“This single event generated positive and consistent media coverage for the Idaho potato brand over a five-month period,” said Frank Muir, IPC president and CEO. “It also served as a platform to help us communicate the importance of the potato industry to the state. Idaho potatoes generate more than $4 billion in revenue and provide more than 30,000 jobs. Potatoes are among the primary reasons that Idaho is one of the most fiscally sound states in the nation.”
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl was televised on ESPN and attended by more than 30,000 fans. As part of its sponsorship package, the IPC received extensive recognition during the game and throughout the stadium, including year-long prominent signage, TV and radio spots, in-stadium billboards, field logos, end-zone signage and game-day program ads.
The IPC rallied consumers around the country with several initiatives, including a special tailgating recipe page, a vignette with culinary icon Mr. Food and an all-expenses-paid trip awarded to a sweepstakes winner.
In addition, the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck, “the largest potato on wheels,” made its national debut at the bowl game. Weighing in at more than 12,000 pounds, the 48-foot long, 12-foot wide and 11.5-foot tall truck will travel across the country later this year visiting customers, stopping by trade shows and meeting millions of Idaho potato fans along the way. In celebration of the IPC’s 75th anniversary, the truck will also help raise awareness and funds for the Meals on Wheels Association of America.
“We’ve always believed in the importance of giving back to the community, especially this year,” Muir said. “We know 2012 is going to be huge for us – literally – as the truck makes its way across the country and returns home to lead us into another exciting bowl season.”
The Idaho Potato Commission is a state agency that is primarily responsible for expanding the markets for Idaho-grown potatoes through advertising, promotion and research.