By the Capital Press
Idaho potato producers will spend $2.49 million over six years for the naming rights of a college post-season football bowl game, according to a contract between the Idaho Potato Commission and Humanitarian Bowl Inc.
The contract was released to the Capital Press on Monday under Idaho's open records law.
The newly named Famous Idaho Potato Bowl features the top teams from the Mid-Atlantic Conference and Western Athletic Conference. Previously known as the Humanitarian Bowl, the game is played at Bronco Stadium at Boise State University.
Under the contract, the commission will pay $375,000 for the naming rights for each of the 2011 and 2012 games, $420,000 for each of the 2013 and 2014 games, and $450,000 for each of the 2015 and 2016 games.
The commission must also pay a one-time $80,000 rebranding fee to HBI.
This year's game will be Dec. 17 and is scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN. Under the terms of the contract, the commission will receive five, 30-second advertising spots during the broadcast, and one 30-second welcome message.
It will also receive four, 30-second advertising spots on the game's radio network broadcast.
The commission will also receive two full pages of advertising in the game program, and will be included in all print advertising promoting the game.
As sponsor, the commission will also be recognized in stadium signage, in the game logo, and in eight public address announcements and eight video board advertisements during the game.
The commission will receive the use of an 18-person suite during the game, and 50 Stueckle Sky Center club-level tickets. It will also receive 500 reserved tickets throughout the stadium, and the right to purchase additional tickets at a discount.
The commission will be provided with a 200- to 400-person tent or other entertainment venue at the game, 30 tickets to the awards dinner, and 30 VIP parking passes for the game.
When they announced the deal last month, IPC commissioners said they think the game will provide a venue to promote Idaho potatoes in the nation's top five potato-consuming states.
Because the game is broadcast on ESPN and kicks off the college football bowl season, IPC President and CEO Frank Muir said the sponsorship will enable Idaho's potato industry to reach consumers in those key states, as well as people across the country, with a positive image about potatoes.
"The commission believes we are getting a very, very good value for growers," he said. "It leverages the state's two famous icons, potates and Bronco Stadium's blue turf, in a powerful image to consumers."
Tickets for the the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will go on sale to the general public through Idahotickets.com and Bronco Stadium ticket office on Oct. 1.
Look for an updated version of this story in the Aug. 26 edition of Capital Press and online later this week at www.capitalpress.com .