DESMET, SD (Jan. 24, 2011)—Beef Bucks, the brainchild of a few beef-loving volunteers from South Dakota back in 1997, made their presence known to millions of viewers across the U.S. in January with their television debut on Wheel of Fortune.
Two Wheel of Fortune contestants spun the colorful wheel during two separate episodes of the popular syndicated game show, landing on the gift tag that carried the Beef Bucks logo. They ended up each taking home the $1,000 Beef Bucks package.
The appearance as one of the prizes on Wheel of Fortune was quite a ride for the Beef Bucks product, which includes either pre-paid checks and or a VISA® debit card used for buying beef at restaurants or grocery stores. After all, having the show’s host Pat Sajak hold up the Beef Bucks logo during the show for all to see was exciting, says Nancy Montross, a DeSmet, SD beef producer and executive secretary of Beef Bucks, Inc.
Even better, says Montross, was the publicity Beef Bucks received—especially in the agricultural press—prior to the programs aired January 9, 11, and 13. Stories about the upcoming appearance of Beef Bucks on Wheel of Fortune began months before and appeared across the country. “It was tremendous for holiday sales of Beef Bucks,” she explained. “We don’t advertise Beef Bucks out of South Dakota, and we had orders from all over the country and so it had to be from the publicity. We doubled sales from last year.” Those sales, she says, included a number of businesses that utilized Beef Bucks for customer or employee gifts.
Some South Dakota restaurants got into the Beef Bucks craze as well, offering Wheel of Fortune viewing parties or specials on the nights the Beef Bucks were featured as a gift tag. “We want to thank all of those people who helped make this such a successful promotional event,” says Montross. “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think we would have this great a response.”
Bob Montross, Nancy’s husband and fellow Beef Bucks, Inc. board member, made the original contact with the Wheel of Fortune program about three years ago, asking them to consider putting the beef-buying currency on the program as a prize. He says he has talked to representatives from the program since the January airings, and there is a possibility that the episodes will be re-broadcast later as reruns.
Beef Bucks, Inc., is a non-profit South Dakota-based organization run by volunteers, including a seven-member board of directors and the executive secretary. Its primary purpose is to promote beef and educate consumers on beef nutrition and cooking through the sale of Beef Bucks and other beef-related events. All proceeds from sales of Beef Bucks, which are backed by financial institutions, go back into the Beef Bucks program. For more information about Beef Bucks, go to www.beefbucks.org, or call 888-640-MEAT.