(Jan. 9, 1:10 p.m.) To promote avocados for one of the highest consumption days of the year, the Hass Avocado Board is rolling out a name equal to the occasion.

Shannon Sharpe, a three-time Super Bowl champion and eight-time NFL pro-bowler, has been tabbed to serve as official spokesperson for the board’s Big Game Day promotion, which ties sales and consumption of avocados — specifically, guacamole — for Super Bowl Sunday Feb. 1.

“Big Game Day is a great time to promote Hass avocados,” said Jose Luis Obregon, managing director of HAB. “We wanted to relate with somebody who is a legend, well known with football fans.

“It makes perfect sense to have Shannon Sharpe with us,” Obregon said. “People respect him. He’s a great athlete, and he enjoys our products.”

Sharpe worked with the avocado organization to develop a signature guacamole recipe, Shannon Sharpe’s Hot Guacamole, which is being distributed to consumer media nationwide.

“We worked with his team to work up something that promotes our product during this specific time of year,” Obregon said.

Sharpe also will participate in interviews with sports media at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. He’ll also have a major presence on the Hass Avocado Board’s consumer Web site, www.avocadocentral.com, where his guacamole recipe will be featured along with an audio greeting. A “Hass Time” sweepstakes asks consumers to submit videos of their favorite game day recipes. Participants can win one of 10 footballs signed by Sharpe.

The Big Game Day initiative also includes a comprehensive television advertising package on the Food Network, and the board is offering support for retail promotions. Throughout January, the board is offering Big Game Day-themed point-of-sale materials that retailers can order at www.avohq.com.

HAB also is conducting a separate outreach effort aimed at key foodservice media.

“It really makes sense to continue putting out information and pushing our product,” Obregon said, “especially when there’s so much out there going on.”

Big game avocado promotion looks Sharpe