The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl was unveiled Aug. 3 as the new name for the Humanitarian Bowl, which features top selections from the Western Athletic Conference and the Mid-American Conference. The nation’s longest-running outdoor cold-weather bowl, which has been played since 1997, will take place Saturday, Dec. 17 at Bronco Stadium in Boise, ID, and will be televised on ESPN.
The Idaho Potato Commission signed a six-year naming rights deal to sponsor the bowl, beginning immediately and running through the 2016 game. As part of the package, the bowl will be featured prominently in national and regional marketing campaigns conducted by the commission. Four of the top five potato-consuming states are represented by the WAC and MAC conferences: New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.
“We’re proud to support a bowl that has become a national showcase for the state of Idaho,” Frank Muir, president and chief executive officer of the Idaho Potato Commission, said in an Aug. 3 press release. “It’s the perfect opportunity to reinforce the health and quality benefits of Idaho potatoes to a national audience while supporting a game that has generated significant funds for the local economy and associated charities.”
“Our new title sponsor ensures the longevity of the bowl and means that fans around the country will continue to see exciting games on the blue turf in Boise,” Kevin McDonald, executive director of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, added in the press release.
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl continues the tradition of commodity-named bowl games with connections to a state’s top agricultural export. The Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Cotton Bowl all took their namesakes from products critical to their respective state’s economic health. Idaho has been the nation’s largest producer of potatoes every year since 1957. The “Famous Potato” slogan was initiated by the Idaho Potato Commission and added to the state’s license plates in 1948.