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Confessions of a Food Sportaholic


Confessions of a Food Sportaholic

Hi, my name is Mike and I'm a Food Sportaholic.

Yes, I know. Somewhere there's probably a support group for that. But to be honest, I'm not sure I need the intervention. Because it's a GOOD thing, and I'm seeking MORE of it, not less.

Here's why. Food Sport is not only on the rise, it's actually reaching tidal wave proportions. (Ironically so, with the World Food Championships scheduled to reach the shores of Orange Beach, Alabama next week.) More than 430 teams from 14 countries and 48 states will descend upon this happy beach community with a thunderous impact of passion, zeal, ambition and culinary dreams to become the next World Food Champion as we celebrate our 5th Anniversary.

The ripple effect, especially in the food world, will have a tsunami-like impact. With more than 80 companies lined up to be part of the festivities, it's just a matter of time before even more — the biggest and boldest brands in the food landscape — realize that Food Sport is for real.

Take note, for example, of these new research findings:

  • The teams competing at WFC collectively spend $2.4 million a year pursuing their dreams in food competitions;
  • More than 66% of them invest at least 8 hours a week "practicing" with recipes, brands and cooking techniques;
  • Almost 80% of them seek out and support Brands involved in Food Sport so they can improve their chances of winning;
  • And more of them (25%) list "food sport" involvement as their number one reason to use a brand, even more so than "a brand's longevity" (18%).

The intel we are gathering and learning about Food Champs is mind boggling. And truly exciting! Who would have thought that the new and cool athlete of our times is a person sporting a chef's coat with brands up and down the sleeves? Ok, ok. So their not on prime time TV yet, racing toward an end zone or around a track at 200 mph. But let me tell you this: What they can do with great food and a grill at 200 degrees is a LOT more appealing to my marketing mind (and taste buds!) than what I typically experience from the bleachers of a traditional sporting event.

Come see for yourself! Take Food Sport for a test drive at WFC or one of the 800 events we track, and I guarantee you that the impact will be life changing. In fact, you may end up making your own Food Sportaholic confession one day! Cheers!

-Mike McCloud, CEO of World Food Championships 

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