Sponsor conflict keeping Joey Chestnut out of hot dog eating contest

Sponsor conflict keeping Joey Chestnut out of hot dog eating contest

A statement made by Major League Eating on Tuesday revealed that Joey Chestnut, who has won the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest sixteen times, would not be participating in the annual Fourth of July event that will take place the following month.

The decision that Chestnut made to “represent another hot dog brand” was communicated to ESPN by a spokeswoman for Major League Eating (MLE). As a result, Chestnut would not be permitted to take part in the Nathan’s contest, which is held annually in Coney Island in New York City.

Chestnut, often known as “Jaws,” is the most prominent figure in the world of competitive eating. He has won the event for eight consecutive years. It has been claimed that he has agreed to a sponsorship arrangement with Impossible Foods, a startup that manufactures plant-based hot dogs and is a competitor to Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs.

“It would be like Michael Jordan saying to Nike, ‘I’m going to represent Adidas, too,'” said George Shea, the founder and organizer of the MLE event.

In the previous year’s Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, Joey Chestnut won his eighth consecutive Mustard Belt and his sixteenth overall. He did this by devouring 62 franks and buns in a span of ten minutes.


Chestnut, on the other hand, published his own statement on X, expressing his “gutted” reaction to the news that he would not be able to participate.

“I love competing in that event, I love celebrating America with my fans all over this great country on the 4th and I have been training to defend my title,” Chestnut said in the comments section. “… Sadly, this is the decision Nathan’s and Major League Eating are making, and it will deprive the great fans of the holiday’s usual joy and entertainment.”

According to a statement sent to ESPN by Impossible Foods, the company is fully behind Chestnut “in any contest he chooses” and believes that “meat eaters shouldn’t have to be exclusive to just one wiener.”

Major League Eating said in a statement that it was “devastated” to learn that Chestnut “has chosen to represent a rival brand that sells plant-based hot dogs.” Chestnut is a competitor of Major League Eating.

“MLE and Nathan’s went to great lengths in recent months to accommodate Joey and his management team, agreeing to the appearance fee and allowing Joey to compete in a rival unbranded hot dog eating contest on Labor Day,” MLE said in a statement released today. “For over twenty years, we have been operating under the same fundamental constraints regarding the exclusivity of hot dogs. On the other hand, it would seem that Joey and his management have placed a higher priority on this new alliance with a different hot dog company than they have on our long-standing friendship.

Chestnut said in his post that he does not have a contract with MLE or Nathan’s, and that “they are looking to change the rules from previous years as it related to other partners I can work with.” Chestnut’s statement was addressed to Nathan’s.

One of Chestnut’s top ten performances in the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest was in 2021, when he consumed a record-breaking 76 hot dogs and buns. Chestnut owned the top 10 performances. He won the competition the year before by consuming 62 franks and buns.

“Joey Chestnut is an American hero,” the statement issued by MLE added. He has been the undisputed champion of the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest for many years, and we would love nothing more than to have him participate in the competition. It is our sincere wish that he would come back when he is not supporting a competing company.

Chestnut expressed his gratitude to his supporters and assured them that he would not be absent from the public eye for an extended period of time.

It was reported on X that he informed her, “Rest assured that you’ll see me eat again soon!!” “STAY HUNGRY!”

A portion of this material was supplied by the Associated Press.

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