8 Stats That Show the Branding Impact of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

A July Fourth tradition

Few brands do as well as Nathan's Famous on the Fourth of July thanks to its ESPN-televised hot dog eating contest in Coney Island in Brooklyn, N.Y. What's particularly interesting, though, is how the hot-dog marketer clearly leans on the holiday in terms of generating online chatter. 

According to Amobee Brand Intelligence, 73 percent of the Jericho, N.Y.-based company's digital consumption—a metric determined by the number of brand mentions across 600,000 Web and social sites—last year occurred around July 4. That's nearly three-fourths of its total online chatter for the period between May 2014 and May 2015. 

Here are seven more intriguing metrics Amobee pulled about Nathan's and America's birthday:

  1. Another buzzy period for Nathan's happens in March, when it announces the finalists for the contest. Compared with July 4, 2014, the late-winter announcement this year achieved 31 percent as much digital consumption
  2. Joey Chestnut, the eight-time winner and defending champion this year, has become the de facto face of the brand. Chestnut was mentioned in 23 percent of all Nathan's digital consumption between May 2014 and May 2015.
  3. Chestnut's archrival, Takeru Kobayashi, was mentioned in 13 percent of all Nathan's digital consumption during the same period.
  4. Nathan's founder Nathan Handwerker was mentioned in 9 percent of the time.
  5. During the same period, women's champion Miki Sudo was mentioned 4 percent of the time.
  6. Nathan's customers clearly prefer mustard over ketchup, as the yellow, vinegary condiment produced 4.5 times as much chatter as its tomato-based frenemy. 
  7. Last Fourth of July on Twitter, there were 29,300 tweets about hot dogs, 28,200 tweets related to Chestnut, 19,800 tweets around Nathan's Famous and 9,660 tweets specifically mentioning the Nathan's hot dog eating contest.