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Known as the ‘godfather of competitive eating,’ Takeru Kobayashi is a six-time champion of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. The Japanese competitive eater is not credited for popularizing the sport but is also known for his long-time feud with the international competitive eating champion, Joey Chestnut.
Regardless of the controversy and jail time, Takeru Kobayashi’s net worth has proliferated rapidly, thanks to his eating plus modeling career. Hence, here, we shall go through how Kobayashi made his multi-million.
Takeru Kobayashi Net Worth And Earnings
Aforementioned, Takeru Kobayashi is known as the godfather of competitive eating. Hence, along with his popularity, his earnings increased with it, and as a result, his assets increased.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Takeru Kobayashi’s net worth is estimated at $3 million, thanks to his competitive eating career, including sponsorships and endorsements. However, he must have made additional bucks from his modeling career as well as real estate. Thus, let’s break down Kobayashi’s earnings through his various venture from this point on.
Also Read: Magnus Carlsen’ Net Worth And Income Source
Earnings From Competitive Eating Contest
As mentioned earlier, Takeru Kobayashi made a fortune, thanks to his competitive eating career. He is worth $3 million by 2021 via since his first contest at the 2001 Glutton Bowl. Despite the deep pocket, it seems competitive eating is not an impressive source of earning for everyone except Kobayashi.
The Godfather of competitive eating has claimed at least a $10,000 prize at Nathan’s contests. Moreover, Forbes speculates that the prize money of $400,000 to $500,000 is up for grabs on the pro circuit.
Thus, in September 2009, Kobayashi earned $20,000 top prize after defeating Chestnut with an impressive score of 93. Several similar contests earned him pretty bucks in the future, resulting in $3 million worth of wealth.
Besides earning thousands from the competition, Kobayashi also made Guinness World Records several times, including two in 2010. Some of his records are listed below.
- 11 Hamburgers in 3 minutes: June 5, 2013
- 12 pizza in 1 min 9.36 seconds: November 12, 2012
- 14 Twinkies in 1 Minute: Jan 23, 2012
- 10 Hamburgers in 3 minutes: August 29, 2010
- 29 meatballs in 1 minute: March 8, 2019
Although a Guinness World Record holder does not get paid, it helped him get better endorsements which aided in reaching the multi-million goals.
Earnings From Endorsements
As mentioned earlier, the competitive eating competition is not the best earner for professionals, even though the winners can easily make up to $50,000 per year.
Similar is the case with Takeru Kobayashi, who easily makes money, thanks to his reputation and world records. Furthermore, his net worth is a direct correspondence of brand endorsements and sponsorships as well.
Interestingly, Takeru candidly discussed a year-long contract with MLE that limited him to $40,000 and robbed away the rights to get endorsements and any activities outside MLE. While he talked about making the right decision and for the future competitive eaters, MLE contradicted his answer.
According to SB Nation, George Shea contended that they offered the Hotdog king a contract over $100,000 covering four events in 2010. He further explained that Kobayashi would walk away with a guaranteed $25,000 whether or not he won at Nathan’s.
Regardless of the rumors and refusing to live off $40,000 with no options of external income, Kobayashi headed on alone and earned extra bucks from new endorsements and sponsorships later.
Takeru became the no.1 competitive eater and appeared in a few commercials and films.
Takeru Kobayashi’s Modeling Career & Earnings
Aforementioned, Takeru became a controversial name in competitive eating after a few arrests and controversies. However, that did not stop him from earning a living out of the competitions and tv appearances.
Thus, today, Kobayashi is not just a celebrity competitive eater but also a television personality. According to his IMDb, he has an acting credit for The Houses October Built 2.
Likewise, he also has appeared in the documentary, The Good, The Bad, The Hungry in 2019. Some other series Kobayashi appeared in are Matsuko no shiranai Sekai, Vs. Arashi, TV Champion, etc.
Besides tv appearance, Takeru has done a few commercials, including the NIKE Tour de France commercial in 2003, the ESPN Sports Center commercial in 2005, Master Card PAY PASS in 2007, etc.
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Moreover, the competitive eater Takeru appeared in a magazine featuring on VMAN 20th Winter in November 2010. Similarly, he made his first-ever fashion editorial in The Block magazine as a model and is reportedly an aspiring dog trainer.
Kobayashi’s Kobi Dogs & YouTube
As mentioned earlier, Takeru Kobayashi refused to live trapped as MLE’s employee for sought freedom. Hence, after all the hard work, he introduced his new line of all-beef grain-fed hot dogs, known as ‘Kobi Dogs.’
The premium western beef Kobi Dogs are described as “incredibly flavorful Jumbo hot dogs.” Moreover, the Kobi Combination Pack (30 hot dogs (2oz)) costs $19.99.
Therefore, Takeru Kobayashi’s net worth is aided by his products as well. Besides, he was also very active on YouTube a little over eight years ago compared to Matt Stonie, who started his channel the same year.
Unlike fellow competitive eater, Matt Stonie who boasts 14.2 million subscribers and earns $158K – $2.5M per year, Kobayashi remained away from the video-sharing platform. Meaning, he has only 6.47K subscribers and uploaded 15 videos until December 2012.
Despite all the hard work, Takeru Kobayashi’s net worth remains at $3 million, which will probably increase in the coming days. Until then, we shall enjoy his appearances in ESPN and other competitions.