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

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


The competitive eating half of the people who read this blog already know this, but the IFOCE has recently started something called "Major League Eating." MLE is intended to be the league that encompasses all of the eaters competing under the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) umbrella. Sorta like the NBA, MLB, or NFL. They've even got a cool logo.

Last week, the IFOCE got the MLE website off the ground with majorleagueeating.com. Right now it's just a home page, but it's a start. And a not a bad looking one at that. One can only assume that they're hard at work on the rest of the website. One also hopes that they'll give it the attention (and dollars) the sport of competitive eating deserves. After all, aside from the eating events, competitive eating's web presence is its second biggest opportunity to make an impression on potential new fans (and eaters).

That being said, here are few recommendations--just in case anyone at the IFOCE is listening--for how to make the new website bigger and better and more of an attraction than IFOCE.com was.

1. Abandon IFOCE.com and its well-intentioned offshoots, competitiveeating.com, competitiveeating.net and competitiveeatingevents.com (you don't need four websites to do the job that one website should be doing). All of the news and information on these websites can and should be included on MLE.com. And don't worry about what'll happen to people who visit the old websites, you can re-route those URL's to automatically forward traffic to the new site.

2. Take a lesson from Orbitz and create a few cheesy-but-addictive competitive eating related games that can be played by visitors. The games may be the only way fans will finally be able to out eat the pros and it’ll give them a reason to waste a few hours during a slow day at work.

3. Six words: MLE contest results via text message. It's working pretty well for the good folks behind the Krystal Square Off and it's not that hard to do.

4. One more word: Videos. They can be contest footage shot by fans and relayed to the IFOCE or shot by the IFOCE themselves. Or they can be some behind the scenes stuff. Nothing fancy, but just enough to give us an inside look at the life of a competitive eater.

5. Give fans more information about the eaters in the profiles section. Maybe use a series of 10 semi-off-the-wall questions designed to showcase who they really are.

6. Display each eater's total monetary winnings for the year in the rankings section.

7. Embrace the history of the sport. Include a page with some background about competitive eating’s roots, its early superstars, and where it’s been over the last 100 years. I’m sure Ryan Nerz would be happy to lend his literary talents to this section.

8. Start a blog. Contributors can be Mike, Ryan and the other contest emcees, as well as Kate and the rest of the IFOCE gang. Update it whenever. We’re not picky.

Those are a few ideas. Enough to get started at least. If anyone has any others, I’m sure everyone over at the IFOCE would be glad to hear ‘em.


Anonymous savage said...

Great suggestions.

3:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude, are you getting paid?
'cause you should be.

9:18 AM

Blogger Carey said...

Dave, here is a better idea. Start your own tour. Do it the way the guys at IFOCE did before they had a following. Go town to town holding contests that don't involve the pro's. Get a contest going at every county fair, block party, and world series/superbowl tailgating party. Then your efforts wouldn't be wasted.

9:33 AM

Blogger steakbellie said...

Great suggestions....essentially, make MLE like the Krystals site. MLE should feature vingettes of ranked and unranked eaters, and 1 time locals too.

MLE should be more of a fan site, and IFOCE should remain the Eaters site. They should dump those extra ones as it is probably spreading their content too thin.

10:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

UEPa could take over the world!!

Let no title leave our state in the hands of an outsider!!

1:39 PM

Blogger Mega Munch said...

Carey - Spoken like a true pool hall hustler. My own tour would be awesome. Seriously! Going from venue to venue betting fat guys $20 that I can down a plateful of hot wings faster than they can. That's essentially what I've tried to do in these local contests (except I need to win more frequently to start hustling fat guys).

Steakbellie - It should be interesting to see what comes of the MLE site, but so far so good. The homepage graphics are slick and cool looking. Very different from the flat look of the current IFOCE site.

As for Tut's plan to take over the world with out eating talents, I'm onboard. I'll take Italy and Mexico...you guys can have the rest.

9:26 PM

Blogger steakbellie said...

Italy and Mexico?
If you take them, I'll starve!!!!
All thats left is Chinese food!!!!

9:53 PM

Anonymous ojrifkin said...

Suggestion #6 has been implemented (See eatfeats sidebar)

2:59 AM

Anonymous liz said...

I would like to raise my hand to be an MLE blogger.

Also, there are a lot of marketing and fan building opportunities the IFOCE misses. I think it's because they are very focused on the business/sponsor side and leave the rest behind. It's too bad, because I think if they worked on building a bigger fan base, the sponsors would have a bigger audience. All of your suggestions are really good. Combined with some better merchandising, they could really work some magic.

6:46 PM

Blogger Super Paul Bonebreaker Barlow said...

I couldn't show any money I made, how about money I spent to get to contests!!

8:13 PM


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