Barstool Sports

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Barstool Sports
Bartstool Sports logo.jpg
Type of site
Blog
OwnerThe Chernin Group
Founder(s)Dave Portnoy
CEOErika Nardini
Websitebarstoolsports.com
Alexa rankIncrease4,310 (August 2019)[1]
CommercialYes
RegistrationOptional
Current statusOpen

Barstool Sports is a sports and pop culture blog founded by David Portnoy in Milton, Massachusetts. The site, which has been owned since 2016 by The Chernin Group, a media holding company, is currently headquartered at 333 7th Avenue, New York City.[2][3]

History[edit]

Barstool first launched as a print publication in 2003, which was distributed in the Boston metropolitan area offering gambling advertisements and fantasy sports projections, but later expanded to encompass other topics. It launched on the Internet in 2007.[4] In April 2014, AOL announced that they would be airing exclusive online content from Barstool Sports.[5]

Purchase[edit]

On January 7, 2016, Portnoy announced The Chernin Group had purchased a majority stake (51%) of Barstool Sports and the site would be moving its headquarters to New York City. Following the purchase, Portnoy continues to run the site and retains complete creative control over the content.[6]

Background[edit]

Chernin Group president of digital Mike Kerns appeared on the inaugural episode of Portnoy's podcast, The Dave Portnoy Show, to discuss the acquisition. During the appearance, Kerns and Portnoy detailed the beginning of their talks, when Kerns was put into contact with Portnoy via a mutual friend in former University of Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen. After an initial phone call, Kerns took a private plane from San Francisco to Boston in order to have dinner with Portnoy, discuss vision for Barstool and the future of the brand, and begin preliminary talks of an acquisition.[7]

Restructuring[edit]

Following the acquisition, and as a result of no longer being the majority owner, Portnoy adopted the title of Chief of Content. Barstool U head writer Keith Markovich, a.k.a. KMarko, was also announced as the sites' new head editor.[8] On July 19, 2016, Erika Nardini, former chief marketing officer of AOL, was announced as the CEO of Barstool Sports.[9]

2017[edit]

During the week of Super Bowl LI, Barstool broadcast a televised version of The Barstool Rundown live from Houston on Comedy Central.[10] The show made headlines on February 2, 2017 after Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee announced during a segment of that night's episode that he was retiring from the NFL to become a contributor to the site.[11] On June 19, 2017, the site announced that Michael Rapaport would be joining Barstool Sports and hosting a podcast.[12]

Barstool Van Talk[edit]

On October 18, "Barstool Van Talk" debuted on ESPN2. The show starred Pardon My Take personalities PFT Commenter and Dan "Big Cat" Katz. It was cancelled after one episode, with ESPN Inc. president John Skipper citing concerns about distinguishing the content of Barstool from that of ESPN.[13] The show's removal came in the wake of complaints from staff at the network, most notably Samantha Ponder.[14][15]

2018[edit]

Following a round of fundraising reported in January, Barstool is said to have received a valuation of $100 million. According to CEO Erika Nardini, The Chernin Group has invested $25 million in the website.[16] On February 18, Michael Rapaport was fired after making a derogatory comment towards the site's fan-base.[17]

On March 28, 2018, NBA player Frank Kaminsky launched a Barstool podcast, Pros and Joes, hosted by himself and three of his high-school friends.[18]

Charitable work[edit]

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, the site raised $240,000 for the victims of the attack.[19][20]

In April 2017, listeners of the Barstool Podcast, Pardon My Take, raised over $50,000 for the Justin J. Watt Foundation.[21]

The site also frequently raises funds supporting veterans' causes and animal welfare. Barstool donated $150,000 to the family of a Weymouth, Massachusetts police officer who was killed on duty in July 2018.[22][23]

The company partnered with NFL quarterback Baker Mayfield in 2018 to release a clothing line benefiting Special Olympics Ohio.[24][25]

Content[edit]

David Portnoy has described the site's topics as "sports/smut."[26] The site contains a mixture of podcasts, blogs, and video series featuring company staff in what has been described as "a sort of online reality show: Every office argument and personal-life development was written up and fed to a growing legion of 'Stoolies'."[27] Barstool also owns and promotes Rough N’ Rowdy, an amateur boxing league which the company showcases through pay-per-view events.[28][29]

Component sites[edit]

Traffic[edit]

In January 2016, Forbes reported that Barstool Sports was averaging over 8 million unique visitors a month.[33][needs update]

Controversies[edit]

Babygate[edit]

In August 2011, the site received criticism over nude photos of American football quarterback Tom Brady's two-year-old son, which was accompanied by comments describing the size of the child's genitalia, which a former prosecutor suggested was sexualization of a minor.[34] Portnoy argued that the comments were meant to be humorous in tone and were not intended to be seen as sexual.[34]

Rape comments[edit]

The site has received repeated criticism over content posted on Barstool Sports that critics of the site allege normalizes rape culture. Comments that have sparked debate include a post on a 2010 blog where Portnoy said "[E]ven though I never condone rape if you're a size 6 and you're wearing skinny jeans you kind of deserve to be raped right?"[35] Other elements that have received criticism include comments such as "we don't condone rape of any kind at our Blackout Parties ... however if a chick passes out that's a gray area".[36] Portnoy, in response, has stated that, "...It's not our intent, with jokes, to poke fun at rape victims," while pointing out the satirical nature of the site's content.[37] A Northeastern University protest group called Knockout Barstool held a demonstration outside of a 2012 Blackout party at Boston's House of Blues.[38] Portnoy has been openly dismissive of the protest group and has accused them of being serial protesters.[35][36][39]

Blackout parties[edit]

The Blackout Tour parties were criticized for promoting excessive drinking and allowing underage drinking, as well as for assaults that have occurred at the proceedings.[40] On February 2012, then–Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino expressed concern through a spokesperson over the parties' promotion of "excessive drinking to the point of blacking out" and that such promotion would not be a good message for the city.[40] Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission agents and club security at a House of Blues event in Boston the following month confiscated 300 fake identifications and refused admission for around three-fourths of the event's 2000 ticket holders.[41] Shortly thereafter Portnoy announced that the company would not be scheduling more of the events in Boston, stating that "it just doesn’t seem like Boston is friendly to nightlife of our sort, at least”.[41]

Copyright issues[edit]

In March 2019, Barstool was accused by comedian Miel Bredouw of having re-posted one of her videos to the site's Twitter account without attribution. After Bredouw eventually refused to rescind her complaint in exchange for $2,000, Barstool filed a counter-claim asking Twitter to reinstate the video, alleging that the take-down was an error.[42][43] Following the dispute, data from Social Blade revealed that on March 6, 2019 Barstool deleted over 60,000 posts from its Twitter account and 1,000 posts from its Instagram account.[44]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Barstoolsports.com Site Info". Alexa. Alexa Internet Inc. Archived from the original on February 11, 2014.
  2. ^ "Barstool Sports Relocating Boston HQ to Full Floor in NoMad Building". Commercial Observer. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  3. ^ Downey, Amy J. (December 2010). "David Portnoy Profile: Is This Really Boston's Next Media Mogul?". Boston Magazine. Metrocorp, Inc.
  4. ^ Ankeny, Jason (December 13, 2013). "The Man Behind the 'Bible of Bro Culture'". Entrepreneur.
  5. ^ "Barstool Sports to air exclusive content on AOL.com". AOL. April 21, 2014.
  6. ^ "The Chernin Group Is Taking a Majority Stake In Controversial Website Barstool Sports". Re/code. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  7. ^ Portnoy, Dave. "The Dave Portnoy Show". www.podcastone.com. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  8. ^ "How To Join The Barstool Writing Dream Team". Barstool Sports. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  9. ^ "Barstool Sports Names New CEO and It's Not Who You'd Expect". Fortune. July 19, 2016.
  10. ^ "NFL pulls credentials from Barstool Sports". Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  11. ^ "Pat McAfee retires from NFL to join Barstool Sports". Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  12. ^ Sports, Barstool. "Things Are About To Get Even Funnier At Barstool Sports… Michael Rapaport Joins Barstool Sports As Newest Personality". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2017-07-08.
  13. ^ Steinberg, Brian (2017-10-23). "ESPN Cancels 'Barstool Van Talk,' Citing Concerns About Barstool Content". Variety. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  14. ^ Kalaf, Samer. "ESPN Cancels Barstool Sports TV Show After One Episode". Deadspin. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  15. ^ Allen, Scott (2017-10-23). "ESPN cancels 'Barstool Van Talk' after one episode". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  16. ^ "Barstool Sports Turns To Booze, Boxing With New Funding". Bloomberg.com. 2018-01-23. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  17. ^ "Why Michael Rapaport Was Fired from Barstool". The Big Lead. 2018-02-18. Retrieved 2018-02-18.
  18. ^ "Frank Kaminsky launches podcast alongside high school friends, Barstool's 'Pros and Joes'". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  19. ^ "Running Strong: How Barstool Sports helped bombing victim". Comcast SportsNet New England. April 18, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-04-24.
  20. ^ "Marc Fucarile 1 Year Later: Life begins anew with small steps, one big plunge". Boston.com. Retrieved 2019-08-18.
  21. ^ "Podcast raises $50,000 in 10 hours to get J.J. Watt on show". Retrieved 2019-08-18.
  22. ^ "Update On The Final Check To Fallen Officer Michael Chesna - 150K". Barstool Sports. September 24, 2018.
  23. ^ "Police officer, bystander shot, killed in Weymouth; suspect in custody". WCVB. 2018-07-15. Retrieved 2019-08-18.
  24. ^ "Cleveland Browns' Baker Mayfield Releases Clothing Line to Benefit Special Olympics". Dot Org. 2018-11-25. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  25. ^ Myers, Joseph. "Barstool, Baker Release Charity Apparel Line for Special Olympics". Promo Marketing. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  26. ^ Baker, Billy (June 3, 2011). "Here, a hangout for trash talking". The Boston Globe.
  27. ^ Kang, Jay Caspian. "Spurned by ESPN, Barstool Sports Is Staying on Offense". Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  28. ^ Patel, Sahil (2018-02-20). "Barstool Sports got 41,000 people to pay for its latest amateur boxing PPV". Digiday. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  29. ^ "This is the Rough N Rowdy, where a forgotten town dukes it out once a year". The Washington Post. March 21, 2017.
  30. ^ "Barstool Sports' Erika Nardini Strikes a Deal with Sirius XM". Money Inc. 2016-12-19. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  31. ^ "State of the Union - Barstool DMV". www.barstoolsports.com. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  32. ^ "Iowa Has Arrived". www.barstoolsports.com. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  33. ^ Reimer, Alex. "Barstool Sports Founder David Portnoy Says His Website Isn't Sexist". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  34. ^ a b Stevens, Carl (August 12, 2011). "Barstool founder defends posting naked photos of Tom Brady's son". CBS Boston. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  35. ^ a b Kingkade, Tyler (March 27, 2012). "Barstool Sports rape 'joke' sparks blackout party backlash". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  36. ^ a b "Editorial: Knockout Barstool – When college humor goes too far". The New Hampshire. University of New Hampshire. February 13, 2012. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  37. ^ "The Barstool podium". The Boston Globe. February 12, 2012.
  38. ^ Dobbs, Taylor (February 3, 2012). "Knockout group protests Barstool party". The Huntington News. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  39. ^ Kagan, Aaron (March 30, 2012). "Controversial 'Blackout Parties' Flee Boston". Eater Boston. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  40. ^ a b Wedge, Dave (February 9, 2012). "Mayor Menino not taking 'blackout' bashes lightly". Boston Herald. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  41. ^ a b Zaremba, John (March 29, 2012). "Barstool "Blackout" parties leaving Boston, founder says". Boston Herald. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  42. ^ Statt, Nick (2019-03-04). "A comedian's fight with Barstool Sports shows how Twitter's copyright system can hurt creators". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  43. ^ Martin, Brittany (2019-03-06). "A Sports Site Hijacked a Comedian's Video—and Intimidated Her for Complaining". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  44. ^ Ley, Tom. "Barstool Sports Quietly Tries To Un-FuckJerry Itself, Deletes 60,000 Social Media Posts". Deadspin. Retrieved 2019-03-11.

External links[edit]