Olympian skater cuts a figure 8 for Colorado potatoes

08/05/2010 02:52:32 PM
Susie Cable

If the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee’s promotions work, the next time you watch figure skating, or listen to a football or baseball game, you might find you have a hankering for a potato.

Rachael Flatt, U.S. figure skating national champion and Olympic skater, is spokeswoman for the committee this year. Jim Ehrlich, executive director for the Monte Vista, Colo.-based committee, said among Flatt’s first official duties were recording 30-second radio spots that began running in April during Colorado Rockies baseball games on Denver-based KOA radio station.

In the spots, Flatt talks about potatoes as America’s favorite vegetables and as a good source of energy during exercise.

“Whether you’re an Olympic skater or a professional baseball player, the only way to stay on top of your game is by relying on a balanced diet that includes supercarb Colorado potatoes,” she says in one spot. “Colorado potatoes help keep me sharp on the ice.”

There are two spots that rotate during about seven weeks of the season. The spots aired for a few weeks beginning in April. They will begin airing again in September, when the new crop should be ready. Ehrlich said at least 10 spots ran during each broadcast, which includes pre-game, game and postgame.

“Our idea is to get the nutrition message out and to make people aware of the good qualities of potatoes,” Ehrlich said.

Consumers also can enter the committee’s Colorado Potato Summer Tailgate contest, which offers a grand prize of a barbecue grill worth $900, Colorado Rockies baseball tickets and other prizes.

The committee plans to run Flatt’s radio spots on KOA during the upcoming Denver Broncos games too. Plans are not finalized, but Ehrlich said promotions tied to Broncos games will probably have a tailgating theme and might feature grilling baked potatoes.

The annual Monte Vista Potato Festival is scheduled for Sept. 11. It’s a free festival offering farm and warehouse tours, games and activities, and recipe contests, Ehrlich said. Flatt is expected to sign autographs and might participate in a cooking competition. There were 150-200 people on farm tours last year, Ehrlich said.

Ehrlich said the committee has lots of ideas for ways that Flatt can help promote Colorado potatoes. He said he hopes she’ll be involved in some television advertisements, in-store promotions and the Produce for Kids fall campaign.



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