You may know Barstool Sports as a snarky sports and pop culture site, but don’t be fooled. This is a well run business. Having recently hired Erika Nardini as CEO and recent acquisition of Old Row Sports, the website is growing their brand and presence even more. Recently, controversial founder and editor David “El Pres” Portnoy discussed the acquisition alongside editor Dan “Big Cat” Katz. They also discussed their quest to try and rate every single pizza slice in New York City.
Portnoy considers Old Row Sports to be an “older version” of Barstool Sports. However Old Row is more of a Southern website so their fan base is loyal and engaged in that region, whereas Barstool created their original following in Boston and have garnered a huge presence in the Northeast. It was a logical fit.
Earlier this year Barstool teamed up with Old Row for a college football tour, similar to the Dixie tour last year. Barstool keeps all their talent in NYC and lets the Old Row crew, who are widely popular on southern campuses, take over the tour under the Barstool network. For those not familiar with Old Row Sports, they’ve been compared to other male dominated sites like Total Frat Move and Bro Bible, among others.
Barstool has been steadily growing after it was acquired at the beginning of 2016 by Peter Chernin’s Chernin Digital Group. The valuation was rumored to be in the $10-$15 million range. You might actually remember how the deal was announced.
In a Youtube video, set to the song “New York, New York,” CEO David Portnoy and his “deputies” stood in Times Square to tell the world about their impending relocation to New York and where the sports site will go from here. “Do I like Manhattan? No. Do I want to be in Manhattan? No. Do I like these people looking at me during this press conference? No. But it’s the right move,” Portnoy said.
The video become an instant hit among Barstool’s loyal readership of around 5 million monthly. As a result of the sale we discovered that Portnoy purchased himself $2 Million Nantucket home which he then sarcastically bragged about on Twitter. Here’s a description of the home:
This tastefully landscaped 4-plus bedroom home with in-ground pool, blue stone patio and deck is situated on an open acre of land which abuts over 30 acres of Nantucket Land Bank property. The finished third floor and full basement provide additional living areas. Located at the end of a cul-de-sac in a quiet neighborhood close to Cisco Beach, Bartlett”s Farm and town.
As for what Portnoy and Barstool have on tap for now, it’s mainly college football and doing what they do best. Covering sports and pop culture while “tastefully” making fun of it all. It should be interesting to find out what Barstool Sports does next in the acquisition world.
Here’s the entire interview: