Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Is Competitive Eating The Best Bang For The Buck?

Joey Chestnut after winning the 2008 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest.

Those of you who know me, know I love the world of competitive eating. I'm credited with bringing the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest to ESPN (I did sideline reporting for the live broadcast for two years) and I'm recognized by most of the stars of the Major League Eating tour.

So does an eating contest have big brand appeal? You tell me. All these brands have supported recent eating competitions by Major League Eating: Alka Seltzer, Coca-Cola, Nathan's, Orbitz , Pizza Hut, Sam's Club, Tabasco and Verizon , to name a few.

"At a time when brands are pulling back on their media spending, Major League Eating is a wise choice and super viral," said MLE president Rich Shea. "From an ROI perspective, Major League Eating trumps pretty much every other niche or extreme sport."

Shea says that the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4th in Coney Island each year generates more than 100 million impressions in the US in a 24-hour period.

Try not to watch these videos. I dare you.

The first clip is the Pizza Hut P'Zone contest between Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi, which happened this weekend.

The second clip is another MLE-sanctioned event -- the Wii Watermelon Eating Contest --between "Crazy Legs" Conti and "Eater X" Tim Janus.

The last one is what I consider to be the best eating contest of all time -- Kobayashi vs. The Bear.

Questions?  Comments?