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Vandals Head Coach Paul Petrino celebrates the team's victory over the Rams during the Famous Idaho® Potato Bowl trophy presentation.

Idaho Potato Commission Naming Sponsor of the Premiere Cold-Weather Football Game

EAGLE, ID (January 13, 2017) -- In the highest scoring bowl game of the season and the third highest scoring game in bowl history, the University of Idaho Vandals defeated the Colorado State Rams (61-50) at the 20th Annual Famous Idaho® Potato Bowl. Close to 25,000 die-hard fans braved the cold weather to cheer on the teams, while 1.1 million viewers (an increase of 6% over 2015) watched the game indoors on ESPN.

This year marks the Idaho Potato Commission’s (IPC) sixth year as the naming sponsor of the premier cold-weather college football game. Traditionally, teams representing the Mountain West Conference and the Mid-American Conference go head-to-head on the blue turf. However, the University of Idaho Vandals from the Sun Belt Conference were invited to play, resulting in increased TV viewership, game attendance and thousands of happy Idahoans who were able to see the home team win.

“Inviting the Vandals to play was a great decision. The energy was high, the fans were enthusiastic and most importantly the Vandals and the Rams played an incredible game demonstrating their strong offensive lines and sportsmanship,” explained Frank Muir, President & CEO, IPC. “The Idaho Potato Commission is very proud to be the naming sponsor of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – a game that promotes athleticism, discipline, determination and a lot of hard work – qualities that all these athletes possess. Congratulations to both teams for playing an outstanding game.”

Contributing to the excitement of the game were the 25 marks/records set including:

  • In the second half, a total of 84 points were scored -- breaking the record of 76 points set in 2016 at the Independence Bowl.
  • Zero points were scored in the first quarter despite an overall combined score of 111 points.
  • The Vandals didn’t turn over the ball. Not once.

As the naming sponsor of the Famous Idaho® Potato Bowl, the IPC receives significant recognition leading up to and during the game including:

  • Permanent signage in prominent locations throughout Albertsons Stadium
  • Nine ESPN television and radio ads
  • A 30-second welcome message from Frank Muir
  • Several public address mentions and video board announcements
  • Idaho® potato logos on the field, in the end zones, and on the sidelines and fences
  • Multiple mentions by the sportscasters
  • Game day program advertising with the IPC logo on the cover

In addition to the advertising associated with the game, the IPC was able to further underscore the Idaho® potato brand by:

  • Inviting Miss Idaho, Kylee Solberg, to help with the coin toss
  • Presenting its long-time charity partner, RODS (a non-profit organization that helps find homes in the U.S. for orphaned children in other countries with Down syndrome), an oversize check for $25,000. Frank Muir and Ritchey Toevs, Chairman of the IPC, presented the check on the field during the third quarter to RODS founding members, Doug Cole, Trace Dandrea and his son Anthony
  • Bringing Spuddy Buddy, who was identified last year as the best bowl game mascot by ESPN, to cheer on both teams with energetic and engaging antics
  • Parking the iconic Big Idaho® Potato Truck amidst all the tailgating activities, providing a backdrop for thousands of selfies!

For more information about the game visit


About the Famous Idaho® Potato Bowl

The Famous Idaho® Potato Bowl recognizes the positive impact teams, coaches and student-athletes have in their communities and their leadership roles in promoting humanitarian efforts. Each year, the Bowl generates over $1 million in direct economic impact for the facilities and charities involved. For more information visit

About The Idaho Potato Commission

Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho™” seal, a federally registered certification mark that assures consumers are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation, and rich volcanic soil give Idaho® potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance, which differentiates Idaho® potatoes from potatoes grown in other states.