Barstool Sports

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Barstool Sports
Barstool Sports logo.png
Type of site
Blog
OwnersThe Chernin Group
Penn National Gaming
Founder(s)David Portnoy
CEOErika Nardini
URLbarstoolsports.com
CommercialYes
RegistrationOptional
Current statusOpen

Barstool Sports is a digital media company that produces content focused on sports and pop-culture. Founded by David Portnoy in 2003 in Milton, Massachusetts, the company's two primary investors are The Chernin Group and Penn National Gaming. Barstool Sports is currently headquartered in New York City.[1][2]

History[edit]

Barstool began in 2003 as a print publication which was distributed in the Boston metropolitan area and offered gambling advertisements and fantasy sports projections, but later expanded to encompass other topics. It launched on the internet in 2007.[3] In April 2014, AOL announced that they would be airing exclusive online content from Barstool Sports.[4]

Purchase[edit]

On January 7, 2016, Portnoy announced in an "emergency press conference" in Times Square that The Chernin Group had purchased a majority stake (51%) of Barstool Sports and the site would be moving its headquarters to New York City.[5][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 mutual friend and 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 by The Chernin Group in January 2016, Portnoy continues to run the site and retains complete creative control as the company's 'Chief of Content'. On July 19, 2016, Erika Nardini, former chief marketing officer of AOL, was announced as the CEO of Barstool Sports.[8]

2017[edit]

During the week of Super Bowl LI, Barstool broadcast a televised version of The Barstool Rundown live from Houston on Comedy Central.[9] 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.[10] On June 19, 2017, the site announced that Michael Rapaport would be joining Barstool Sports and hosting a podcast.[11]

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.[12] The show's removal came after past statements from Barstool president Dave Portnoy resurfaced, one of which involved calling current ESPN employee Sam Ponder a 'slut'.[13][14]

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.[15] On February 18, Michael Rapaport was fired after making a derogatory comment towards the site's fan-base.[16]

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.[17]

2020[edit]

Penn National Gaming partnership[edit]

On January 29, 2020, it was announced that Penn National Gaming purchased a 36% stake in Barstool Sports for $163 million, giving the company a valuation of $450 million. In three years, Penn National, with a market value of roughly $3 billion, will increase its stake to around 50% for a payment of $62 million. At that time, Penn National and Barstool have options that would increase the casino company's stake to control or full ownership, based on fair market value at the time.[18] Following the sale, The Chernin Group maintained a 36% stake in the company.[19]

Barstool Sportsbook[edit]

The company launched Barstool Sportsbook, a mobile application for sports betting, in Pennsylvania on September 18, 2020. During its first week of operation, it handled $11 million in wagers. Only those physically located in Pennsylvania may legally use the app, however, Penn National intends to expand its operations to other states. In January 2021, the company announced that the Sportsbook would be expanding to the state of Michigan. Barstool's parent company, Penn National Gaming announced that they would be matching all first time deposits by donating to the barstool fund, raising a total of $4,550,280 for Michigan small businesses.[20][21][22]

Barstool Fund[edit]

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and related government restrictions,[23] Barstool launched The Barstool Fund, a fundraising non-profit which provides financial support to small business owners across the United States.[24][25] Over 200,000 people contributed to the fund and over 35 million dollars has been raised. Many celebrities such as Tom Brady, Guy Fieri, Kid Rock, Aaron Rodgers and Elon Musk have given to the fund, on top of an initial 500,000 dollar donation from Portnoy.[26][27]

Content[edit]

David Portnoy has described the site's topics as "sports/smut."[28] 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'."[29]

Component sites[edit]

Radio[edit]

The company operated Barstool Radio 85, a channel on Sirius XM, from January 2017 until January 2021, when a new contract agreement could not be reached.[33][34] [35] Barstool returned to radio in February 2021 with a daily sports betting-themed show called Barstool Sports: Picks Central, distributed by Westwood One.[36]

Podcasts[edit]

Barstool also produces numerous podcasts, including programming from David Portnoy, Spittin' Chiclets, Pardon My Take, Call Her Daddy, The Kirk Minihane Show, as well as podcasts from Barstool bloggers and professional athletes and comedians such as Deion Sanders, Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Whitney, Paul Bissonnette, Willie Colon, Dallas Braden, Jim Florentine, Jamie Dukes, Taylor Lewan, and Will Compton.[37] Notable former employees or podcast hosts include Jenna Marbles,[38] Pat McAfee, Paul Lo Duca, Michael Rapaport, Terry Rozier,[39] Frank Kaminsky, AJ Hawk, Asa Akira, and Julie Stewart-Binks.[40]

Rough N' Rowdy[edit]

The site owns and promotes Rough N' Rowdy, an amateur boxing league in West Virginia that the company showcases through pay-per-view events.[41][42]

Over-the-top media[edit]

Barstool offers streaming and Video on Demand content, which is available on Roku, Amazon FireTV, Apple TV, and Android TV.[43]

Charitable work[edit]

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, the site raised $240,000 for the victims of the attack.[44][45]

In April 2017, listeners of the Barstool Podcast, Pardon My Take, raised over $50,000 for the Justin J. Watt Foundation.[46]

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.[47][48]

The company partnered with NFL quarterback Baker Mayfield in 2018 to release a clothing line benefiting Special Olympics Ohio.[49][50]

In October 2019, Barstool founder David Portnoy donated $20,000 to Penn State's annual IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, which raises money for pediatric cancer research and treatment.[51]

In November 2019, Portnoy announced that he would match a Veteran's Day fundraising campaign for mental health and PTSD that ended up garnering $91,000.[52]

Traffic[edit]

In January 2016, Forbes reported that Barstool Sports was averaging over 8 million unique visitors a month.[53][needs update] As of September 2020 it has a global Alexa rank of 5,582 and a US rank of 1,072.[54]

Controversies[edit]

Baby photo comments[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.[55] Portnoy argued that the comments were meant to be humorous in tone and were not intended to be seen as sexual.[55]

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?"[56] 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".[57] 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.[58] A Northeastern University protest group called Knockout Barstool held a demonstration outside of a 2012 Blackout party at Boston's House of Blues.[59] Portnoy has been openly dismissive of the protest group and has accused them of being serial protesters.[56][57][60]

Blackout parties[edit]

The Blackout Tour parties were criticized for promoting excessive drinking and allowing underage drinking, as well as for assaults that have happened at the proceedings.[61] In 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.[61] 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.[62] 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".[62]

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.[63][64] 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.[65]

References[edit]

  1. ^ La Guerre, Liam (April 4, 2016). "Barstool Sports Relocating Boston HQ to Full Floor in NoMad Building". Commercial Observer. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  2. ^ Downey, Amy J. (November 23, 2010). "David Portnoy Profile: Is This Really Boston's Next Media Mogul?". Boston. Metrocorp, Inc.
  3. ^ Ankeny, Jason (December 13, 2013). "The Man Behind the 'Bible of Bro Culture'". Entrepreneur.
  4. ^ "Barstool Sports to air exclusive content on AOL.com". AOL. April 21, 2014.
  5. ^ Kulwin, Noah (January 7, 2016). "The Chernin Group Is Taking a Majority Stake In Controversial Website Barstool Sports". Re/code. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  6. ^ Marcus, Daniel (January 17, 2020). "Barstool Sports Closing In On Goal Of 'Owning The Moon'". Forbes. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  7. ^ Portnoy, Dave. "The Dave Portnoy Show". www.podcastone.com. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  8. ^ Spangler, Todd (July 19, 2016). "Erika Nardini, Ex-CMO of AOL, Joins Dude-Focused Barstool Sports as CEO". Variety. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  9. ^ "NFL pulls credentials from Barstool Sports". Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  10. ^ "Pat McAfee retires from NFL to join Barstool Sports". Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  11. ^ "Things Are About To Get Even Funnier At Barstool Sports… Michael Rapaport Joins Barstool Sports As Newest Personality". www.prnewswire.com (Press release). Barstool Sports. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  12. ^ Steinberg, Brian (October 23, 2017). "ESPN Cancels 'Barstool Van Talk,' Citing Concerns About Barstool Content". Variety. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  13. ^ Kalaf, Samer. "ESPN Cancels Barstool Sports TV Show After One Episode". Deadspin. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  14. ^ Allen, Scott (October 23, 2017). "ESPN cancels 'Barstool Van Talk' after one episode". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  15. ^ "Barstool Sports Turns To Booze, Boxing With New Funding". Bloomberg.com. January 23, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  16. ^ "Why Michael Rapaport Was Fired from Barstool". The Big Lead. February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  17. ^ "Frank Kaminsky launches podcast alongside high school friends, Barstool's 'Pros and Joes'". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  18. ^ Mullin, Katherine Sayre and Benjamin (January 29, 2020). "Penn National Gaming to Buy Minority Stake in Barstool Sports". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  19. ^ "Barstool Sports to Sell 36% Stake to Penn National Gaming". www.bloomberg.com. January 29, 2020. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  20. ^ "How Much Money Was Bet At Barstool Sportsbook On Opening Weekend?". Legal Sports Report. September 25, 2020. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  21. ^ Wojcik, Nick (September 18, 2020). "Barstool Sportsbook Launched in Pennsylvania". Lineups.com Betting. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  22. ^ "Penn National Gaming to Soft Launch Barstool Sportsbook App in Pennsylvania on September 15". www.businesswire.com. September 8, 2020. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  23. ^ Culture (December 19, 2020). "Barstool's Dave Portnoy Is Doing More For Small Businesses Than Congress". The Federalist. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  24. ^ "'Nobody else was going to do it': Barstool Sports raises over $6M to keep small businesses open". fox8.com. December 26, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  25. ^ Conklin, Audrey (December 23, 2020). "Barstool's Dave Portnoy raises $6.3M for 18 small businesses — and counting". FOXBusiness. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  26. ^ Wulfsohn, Joseph (January 7, 2021). "Dave Portnoy's 'Barstool Fund' hits $20M, helping over 90 small businesses during pandemic". Fox News. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  27. ^ "The Barstool Fund". Barstool Sports. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  28. ^ Baker, Billy (June 3, 2011). "Here, a hangout for trash talking". The Boston Globe.
  29. ^ Kang, Jay Caspian. "Spurned by ESPN, Barstool Sports Is Staying on Offense". Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  30. ^ "Barstool Sports' Erika Nardini Strikes a Deal with Sirius XM". Money Inc. December 19, 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  31. ^ "State of the Union - Barstool DMV". www.barstoolsports.com. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  32. ^ "Iowa Has Arrived". www.barstoolsports.com. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  33. ^ Krieger, Adam (January 28, 2021). "Barstool is Done with SiriusXM - Barstool Radio is Going off the Air -". Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  34. ^ "Check out Barstool Sports' exclusive 24/7 channel on SiriusXM". Hear & Now. Sirius XM. January 17, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  35. ^ "Barstool Radio On SiriusXM Ends Today". Barrett Sports Media. January 29, 2021. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  36. ^ "Barstool Sports: Picks Central". Westwood One. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  37. ^ "Top Podcast Publishers". Podtrac. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  38. ^ Bush, Megan. "Jenna Marbles speaks with students about life after college". The Rocket. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  39. ^ Devlin. "*BREAKING NEWS* Mickstape Has Completed A Trade..." Barstool Sports. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  40. ^ Sanchez, Mark W. (May 17, 2018). "Julie Stewart-Binks mysteriously out at Barstool Sports". New York Post. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  41. ^ Patel, Sahil (February 20, 2018). "Barstool Sports got 41,000 people to pay for its latest amateur boxing PPV". Digiday. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  42. ^ Lowery, Wesley (March 21, 2017). "This is the Rough N Rowdy, where a forgotten town dukes it out once a year". The Washington Post.
  43. ^ "Barstool Sports Launches OTT Channels". www.mediapost.com. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  44. ^ "Running Strong: How Barstool Sports helped bombing victim". Comcast SportsNet New England. April 18, 2014. Archived from the original on April 24, 2014.
  45. ^ "Marc Fucarile 1 Year Later: Life begins anew with small steps, one big plunge". Boston.com. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  46. ^ "Podcast raises $50,000 in 10 hours to get J.J. Watt on show". Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  47. ^ "Update On The Final Check To Fallen Officer Michael Chesna - 150K". Barstool Sports. September 24, 2018.
  48. ^ "Police officer, bystander shot, killed in Weymouth; suspect in custody". WCVB. July 15, 2018. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  49. ^ "Cleveland Browns' Baker Mayfield Releases Clothing Line to Benefit Special Olympics". Dot Org. November 25, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  50. ^ Myers, Joseph. "Barstool, Baker Release Charity Apparel Line for Special Olympics". Promo Marketing. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  51. ^ Collegian, Maddie Aiken | The Daily. "Barstool president Dave Portnoy donates $20K to THON". The Daily Collegian. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  52. ^ Flood, Brian (November 12, 2019). "Barstool Sports racks up $182G for veterans after 'spur of the moment' campaign takes off". Fox News. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  53. ^ Reimer, Alex. "Barstool Sports Founder David Portnoy Says His Website Isn't Sexist". Forbes. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  54. ^ "barstoolsports.com Competitive Analysis, Marketing Mix and Traffic - Alexa". www.alexa.com. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
  55. ^ a b Stevens, Carl (August 12, 2011). "Barstool founder defends posting naked photos of Tom Brady's son". CBS Boston. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  56. ^ a b Kingkade, Tyler (March 27, 2012). "Barstool Sports rape 'joke' sparks blackout party backlash". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  57. ^ 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.
  58. ^ "The Barstool podium". The Boston Globe. February 12, 2012.
  59. ^ Dobbs, Taylor (February 3, 2012). "Knockout group protests Barstool party". The Huntington News. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  60. ^ Kagan, Aaron (March 30, 2012). "Controversial 'Blackout Parties' Flee Boston". Eater Boston. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  61. ^ a b Wedge, Dave (February 9, 2012). "Mayor Menino not taking 'blackout' bashes lightly". Boston Herald. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  62. ^ a b Zaremba, John (March 29, 2012). "Barstool "Blackout" parties leaving Boston, founder says". Boston Herald. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  63. ^ Statt, Nick (March 4, 2019). "A comedian's fight with Barstool Sports shows how Twitter's copyright system can hurt creators". The Verge. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  64. ^ Martin, Brittany (March 6, 2019). "A Sports Site Hijacked a Comedian's Video—and Intimidated Her for Complaining". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  65. ^ Ley, Tom. "Barstool Sports Quietly Tries To Un-FuckJerry Itself, Deletes 60,000 Social Media Posts". Deadspin. Retrieved March 11, 2019.

External links[edit]