It is not clear that their main purpose is to sell more digital cameras?
Yes, it is clear. But they are far more likely to sell people on a competitor's digital by displaying images by those competitors, than they are to sell people on film by displaying film images. Most people who see the images from the contest are using digital, and won't drop it for film because of a contest-winning picture. Film is not a threat to their digital sales.
That is why I say they are idiots. They lack basic insight. Despite still offering two film cameras, they exclude and insult film photographers. Some Nikon users who shoot film but are considering digital instead of or in addition to film will wonder why they should buy from a company that doesn't respect them.
I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.
The submit button isn't there yet, expect Dec 1 2012. I noticed they ask for perpetual non-exclusive rights. And the prizes are all Nikon equipment. Maybe they figure we don't want any of it.
Yea see. They end up with an awesome stock image library that could theoretically compete with other stock. Maybe even against some that one of us has shot in the past.
I always looked at these things with a smirk.