In addition to enjoying a bowl of potatoes, spud-loving sports fans soon will also be able to enjoy a potato bowl.

With its recently inked agreement to rename college football’s Humanitarian Bowl as the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the Idaho Potato Commission is taking perhaps the No. 1 regionally branded produce item to a new, high-profile media venue.

Sponsorship of the post-season bowl game ups the ante on the commission’s previous sponsorship tie-in with the Boise State University and University of Idaho football game known as the Spud Bowl.

Potatoes aren’t the only commodity to hitch themselves to the popularity of college football.

Back in December, Florida’s Orlando Citrus Parade had more than 100,000 of the state’s fresh grapefruit, oranges and tangerines donated by growers decorating floats as part of the festivities for Orlando Bowl Week in honor of the Citrus Bowl.

Of course produce/sports promo tie-ins haven’t been limited to college football.

They’ve also tied in to football, as it’s known throughout the world, or soccer to us in the U.S.

In 2010, Mexico’s Avocado Producers and Exporting Packers Association of Michoacan worked with Coors Brewing Co. on a promotion centered around the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament.

This summer, California Giant Berry Farms had its “Fear the Beard and Love the Berry” night promotion at a San Francisco Giants baseball game.

Fresh produce and sports are a natural fit as promotional partners.

For Idaho potato marketers and the rest of the industry, it’s game on.

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