Competitive Eating Helps Nathanezsms Build A Brand…

Maybe it is because many people like spectacle, but the old sideshow mentality, especially in a digital world, still draws the casual observer. The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, and all the other subsequent “competitve eating” events around the world, have spawned an interesting following that draws as many as 30,000 people for some events and has gotten some brands pretty solid exposure for their products. Although there have been few brands on the antacid side or the pharma industry who have used the contests to battle obesity yet, there is no doubt that some chains have used the eating “craze’ to grow their business in ways never really seen before, especially taking advantage of low cost digital marketing and branding. The one who has really shown how to do it is Nathan's. CNNMoney recently listed their fastest-growing companies in the US, and the hot dog chain was among the leaders in an industry where midsized fast food chains are struggling. Now of course Nathan's franchise business needs to be attached with in-arena or in-stadium brands building programs to really get outside of its core base. However with an online business, kiosks and now a signature event that casual sports fans can point to as a must see or must watch event, the Coney Island hot dog once connected only to New York or those in the New York area, has found a niche to grow with and can take that niche and really attach to other brands, teams and events around the world if needed, all tied back to their July 4 event. Smart calculated move by Nathan's which took a small event and used it to really move product and build brand without a comparatively huge spend.

Some other good reads for the weekend…Media Post had a good look at the issues Gatorade is having to build brand… had a good piece on how Manchester City is looking to expand their branding footprint…the San Diego Union Tribune had an interesting look at how relegation would work for American sports…and had a good list of 100 “things” young people may never use