"It is possible to die from eating. But I think to be professional means you don't die." (Takeru Kobayashi)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

WANTED: One sponsor, must love (hot) dogs

You may have read it on Bloomberg.com or Trencherwomen first (and here eighth or ninth), but the IFOCE is in big trouble after Bayer announced that it's ending its long-standing Alka Seltzer sponsorship effective immediately. Said a spokesperson from watchdog group, Coalition Against Bayer Dangers, "Paradoxically, Bayer offers remedies to cure the diabetes that is often caused by the very events they are sponsoring.''

Hard to argue with that.

But as the IFOCE scrambles to find another deep-pocketed sponsor, there's plenty of speculation about who might step in to save the day (and save the upcoming U.S. Open of Competitive Eating). No matter how you slice it, it looks like just about any medicinal sponsor -- Pepsid, Tums, or otherwise -- are going to be scared off by the whole "obesity" side effect of competitive eating. They're not going to touch it with a ten foot hot dog. And who could blame them? One-third of all American adults qualify as obese, which makes the sponsorship of any event that advocates the consumption of 1,000 calories per minute a very risky proposition for anyone in the business of helping Americans feel healthy (even if they're not).

With that in mind, I've put some thought toward the issue and have come up with a few potential new sponsors:

MAXIM Magazine - Maybe they don't have pockets quite as deep as a global pharmaceutical corporation, but they do share a shockingly similar audience with the IFOCE. In fact, the editorial staff themselves have shown a proclivity toward great feats of gurgitation with their own series of video taped office eating dares.

The Chuck Norris Total Gym - It makes perfect sense! Get fat, work it off on the Total Gym. They could also give one away to the winner of each contest (like Sonya Thomas really needs one). Plus it's cool because Chuck Norris is so freakin' badass.

Bill Gates - Let's face it, the man is getting richer by the nanosecond, but he's not getting any cooler. Sponsoring the Wing Bowl or a few doughnut eating contests might help him score some points with the 18-34 year old crowd. But then again, does he really need to?

The Food Network - Yeah, it seems kinda obvious. They also have a much different audience than the IFOCE. Then again, maybe that's just the shot in the arm the Federation needs. Think of the crossover potential! Mario Batali and Bobby Flay churning out the cuisine while Takeru and the crew put it away. I'd definitely pay to see that.

Mississippi - They're already the fattest state in America, so why not embrace the fact by partnering with the IFOCE? Plus there's all that great southern cookin' that could be used on circuit. Joey Chestnut would totally rule at the Southern Style Baked Macaroni & Cheese Competition in Biloxi.

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Blogger Mark Base said...

You should really look fatter.

10:56 PM

Blogger Mega Munch said...

I'm working on it! Summer is "eating season" for me, and I've got several mega munching challenges lined up with some friends (including a baseball-themed one I call the "9 Inning Challenge"...more details on that in a future posting).

8:49 AM


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