Takeru Kobayashi Joins Hofmann Hot Dogs Dream Team
World Champion Competitive Eater to Help Expand International Reach
Building upon its May acquisition of the Hofmann Sausage Company of Syracuse, the Zaccanelli Food Group and lead investor the Oneida Indian Nation signed world champion competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi as a business partner and brand ambassador. The signing adds Kobayashi to the Dream Team of Hofmann ownership including Roger Staubach, Frank Zaccanelli, Phil Romano, and Jim Boeheim and drives the creation of a new business division designed to expand the U.S. and international reach of Hofmann Hot Dogs.
Kobayashi, the Japanese eating sensation known as “Kobi” by his fans, has claimed dozens of competitive eating titles, including downing a world record 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes in July 2011.
Hofmann Hot Dogs CEO Frank Zaccanelli said, “We are so happy to give this world champion the recognition he deserves. Kobi is a true success story. He came to America looking for an opportunity to succeed and worked his way to international superstardom. His life truly exemplifies the American Dream. We expect Kobi’s worldwide appeal to help take Hofmann Hot Dogs to an unprecedented level.”
Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter said, “Our goal for Hofmann is to market one of Central New York's iconic brands to the world. Kobi’s worldwide celebrity will help shine an even brighter light on products which Central New Yorkers have been delighted to call our own for more than one hundred years.”
Kobayashi said, “It is an honor to partner with the Hofmann Hot Dog Company. Not only are they the oldest hot dog company in America, but they also make the best hot dog ever. I’ve tried plenty. I am not only a competitive eater, but a food geek. I respect that Mr. Zaccanelli is keeping the fantastic quality of the Hofmann hot dog as he takes it nationwide and international. I feel a new chapter of my life beginning, and hope to bring attention to the great Hofmann brand and create a new Kobi dog along the way.”
As part of the business partnership, Kobayashi has acquired an ownership stake in the Zaccanelli Food Group, the managing partner and major investor in the Hofmann Hot Dog Company. Hofmann has created the Kobayashi business division to create a Kobi line of hot dogs as part of the Hofmann family of products. Kobi plans to work in direct collaboration with fifth generation Hofmann Hot Dogs founder Rusty Flook to create a new brand of hot dogs to distribute in the U.S., Asia, and beyond. The combination of master hot dog maker Rusty Flook and master eater Kobayashi has created a recipe for a masterpiece. Kobayashi will have an active role in all facets of the creation and marketing of the product.
Zaccanelli said, “I see Kobi doing for Hofmann Hot Dogs what Michael Jordan did for Nike.”
Kobayashi also becomes worldwide brand ambassador for the Hofmann Hot Dog Company and his personalized brand of Hofmann Hot Dogs. As part of these duties, Kobayashi plans to make personal appearances on behalf of Hofmann Hot Dogs around the world. He’ll also be a regular visitor at Turning Stone Resort Casino, the worldwide headquarters for Hofmann Hot Dogs marketing activities, for photo and commercial shoots and special events.
Kobayashi said, “I now feel that coming to the United States is becoming the reality that I always dreamed of. This is definitely the top dog I want to savor and eat slowly. Two top dogs are very happy together."
Hofmann Sausage Company is a high-quality meat manufacturer and distributor based in Syracuse, N.Y. The company offers more than 80 products, which are available in a variety of retail locations and online. For more information, visit hofmannhotdogs.com and Hofmann Hotdogs Facebook Page.
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