Press releases



Sam's Club® Hosts Qualifying Tour for Nathan's® Famous Fourth of July 2008 Hot Dog Eating Contest

Bentonville, Ark. April 24, 2008 – Hot Dog lovers and sport eaters were in awe last Fourth of July when underdog Joey Chestnut, beat six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi at the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Championship. This year, the race for top dog is on, and Sam’s Club is proud to be the destination for qualifying events throughout the nation. Beginning this month, Sam’s Club locations nationwide will add Nathan’s Hot Dogs to the café menu.

“We are looking forward to supporting such a highly acclaimed and exciting sport, as it continues to grow and becomes a fast favorite in America,” said Dennis Horn, Director of Merchandise at Sam’s Club. “Sam’s Club cafes are on par with community dinners and we are thrilled to add Nathan’s to our menu in 570 locations.”

The winner of each qualifying round will compete at the original Nation’s Famous in Coney Island July 4th for the coveted Mustard Yellow Belt. Qualifiers are open to those 18 years of age and older, and applications will be taken online at

The 2008 Nathan’s Famous hot dog-eating circuit begins at select Sam’s Club locations on May 17th in Chicago. Other cities on the tour that will be housed at Sam’s Club locations include Pittsburgh (May 24), Overland Park, KS (May 31), New Orleans, (June 4) and Dallas (June 21).

“Our hot dog eating contest has occurred in Coney Island since 1916, and the excitement grows every year,” said Wayne Norbitz, President and COO of Nathan’s Famous, Inc. “Bringing in Sam’s Club to host qualifying rounds was a natural way to celebrate our partnership and announce to our fans that they can enjoy a Nathan’s hot dog any day of the year at Sam’s Club.”

In addition to hosting the qualifying competition, Members, participants and fans alike will be welcome to cheer for their favorite eater and enjoy a $1 Nathan’s hot dog and Coca-Cola ® special in the Sam’s Club Cafe. And for those under 18, who are looking to take part in the action, Sam’s Club will be holding a “Neat Eater” contest for children under 12 to participate in the festivities.

Competitive eating’s hallmark competition garners live attendance of 45,000 fans on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island. An additional 1.5 million households tuned in to the contest’s live broadcast on ESPN as they witnessed Chestnut achieve a world record by eating 66 Nathan’s Hot Dogs and Wonderbread Buns in the 12-minute contest. This year’s contestants will meet at Sam’s Club locations locally as they rally for rights to compete in the historic Coney Island storefront.

About Sam’s Club
Sam's Club is a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The first Sam's Club opened its doors in Midwest City, Oklahoma in 1983 and serves more than 47 million U.S. Members. Sam's Club offers exceptional values on merchandise and services for business owners and consumers. Online merchandise and club information is available at

About Major League Eating
Major League Eating, the governing body of all stomach-centric sport, sanctions the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Circuit and ensures the events are judged professionally and that safety standards are in place at each event.