Rethinking Barstool?

radsoxfan

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I imagine not being able to use gambling advertisers would be hugely challenging for a company in their market.
For sure.

I have a feeling both sides had little choice on the terms here.

Penn had no one else to sell to (but had to get rid of Barstool).

Portnoy paid nothing to get it back so probably couldn’t make many demands on the restrictive covenants.

He’s basically taking a flier on his own company with no risk since he already cashed out. But it’ll be an uphill battle.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Hmm, now that Portnoy is cutting checks is he going to be loath paying upwards of $2 million/year (rumored) to the PMT guys and let them go as free agents, or making other such short-sighted decisions? He's built the business to this point, but is also not above making rash decisions...
 

radsoxfan

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Hmm, now that Portnoy is cutting checks is he going to be loath paying upwards of $2 million/year (rumored) to the PMT guys and let them go as free agents, or making other such short-sighted decisions? He's built the business to this point, but is also not above making rash decisions...
Considering PMT is their biggest asset, Dan is one of his best friends, and Portnoy just pledged to give Dan/his kids the company when he dies.... I'm guessing PMT won't be on the chopping block.

If it looks like Barstool is petering out, maybe PMT will eventually leave though.
 

kenneycb

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Considering PMT is their biggest asset, Dan is one of his best friends, and Portnoy just pledged to give Dan/his kids the company when he dies.... I'm guessing PMT won't be on the chopping block.

If it looks like Barstool is petering out, maybe PMT will eventually leave though.
Getting rid of top talent would be the stupidest thing he could do, especially a guy as universally loved as Big Cat (and PFT for that matter). I’m sure there are plenty of fringe shows / talent they can get rid of without many noticing but PMT, Chiclets, and I’m sure a few other big ones are definitely safe.

They pay shit and the website is the worst of early internet advertising so they shouldn’t have a hard time finding people to pump out mediocre content.

I also highly doubt Big Cat would leave unless the company dissolves.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Thought I read a couple years ago that Dan was making something like 9 mil a year.
I've seen the numbers all over the place and went with the lowest/conservative number. You may be right, it feels like the net worth of $2 million shown on the Googles for Dan is quite low!
 

Rusty13

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So much of their current content is gambling related (and was long before PENN) so it would be funny if they're not allowed to get any ad $ from DraftKings etc.

Given the reported sale "price", the non compete might be pretty extensive. They will have to sell a lot of High Noon and Pirate Water and whatever other nonsense drinks they promote.
Good thread here. Apparently the non-compete does indeed prevent Barstool from getting ad money from other gambling companies.

View: https://twitter.com/adamry_n/status/1689043987464585216?s=46&t=xxvZTMezWkaSiYKGpP6ffg
 

Patriot_Reign

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View: https://twitter.com/SMB_Attorney/status/1689073282476097536

The interesting part of the “Penn-Disney-Barstool” transaction in a nutshell: Disney basically told Penn “we’ll acquire (rescue) you, but you gotta lose Portnoy and Barstool.” Portnoy knew he had Penn over a barrel. No divestiture of Barstool meant no deal with Disney. So, Penn *gave* Barstool (a business they paid $551 million for in 2020) back to Portnoy, in exchange for a non-compete in online gambling and one-half of the proceeds of a future sale of Barstool. Slice-and-dice this however you want, but Portnoy woke up today dramatically wealthier than he went to bed last night, due to Penn’s desperation and Disney’s inability to touch “bro culture.” The legend of Dave Portnoy grows.
 

Marciano490

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I don’t think I’ve ever used this unironically before, but you really do hate to see it. Portnoy gets richer by being toxic.
 

Red Averages

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I don’t think I’ve ever used this unironically before, but you really do hate to see it. Portnoy gets richer by being toxic.
Maybe? Do we know if Barstool is cash flow positive? They were backed by PENN and seemed to grow meaningfully. Now they lost their backing, lost their ability to get gambling advertisers, their daily active user rate was shown to be inflated. Seems like he’s got a lot of work ahead of him to reel in expenses, save the revenue and attempt to keep their content relevant at a time when the content market is being inundated with competition from other podcasts, streaming, and other endeavors seeking eyeballs/ears.
 

DJnVa

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He got Barstool to a point where PENN paid all that money for it, why do we think he can't keep the brand going?
 

kenneycb

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So Mickey's in and Portnoy's out.

I haven't followed Barstool in years, but if they're out of gambling does that leave them smokeshows and pizza?
They are not out of gambling. PMT spent several minutes talking about gambling today. They cannot directly monetize from other gambling companies through partnerships and advertising with non-PENN entities.
 

Senator Donut

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He got Barstool to a point where PENN paid all that money for it, why do we think he can't keep the brand going?
I think the sports betting boom created some crazy valuations that we'll never see again. Saturday Down South, a thoroughly mediocre college football blog was purchased for eight figures. There is still some money to be had there, but presumably the non-compete has cut off that money spigot for Barstool.

In today's media environment, there is no way that website alone is turning a profit. The question is can the larger Barstool brand prop up podcasts, frozen pizza, seltzers, sports bar, et al to a profitable level, but I'm somewhat skeptical. Furthermore, Portnoy is basically poison for any large sports or media organization, which limits joint ventures.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Portnoy might just not give a fuck if it’s a real growth business. He can sell part of all of it if/when he tires of running it as he sees fit with small profit margins.
 

Senator Donut

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Portnoy might just not give a fuck if it’s a real growth business. He can sell part of all of it if/when he tires of running it as he sees fit with small profit margins.
It's a little like Elon buying Twitter the X platform; it's primarily a vanity project. He's not going to run it as a charity, but he probably doesn't care if it ever returns a profit, as long as it doesn't kill his personal wealth either.
 

bankshot1

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I wonder if Iger has the balls to open a Sportsbook @ Disney.

You saw the Magic Kingdom,

You rode Space Mountain

You had a fantasy dinner with Snow White

Put the kids to bed and explore your real fantasies

Can you parlay your Pick-6 at ESPENN Sports Club
 

Senator Donut

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I wonder if Iger has the balls to open a Sportsbook @ Disney.

You saw the Magic Kingdom,

You rode Space Mountain

You had a fantasy dinner with Snow White

Put the kids to bed and explore your real fantasies

Can you parlay your Pick-6 at ESPENN Sports Club
I don't get the sense that Florida is going to grant a gaming license to Disney or Penn acting as a affiliate of Disney any time in the near future. California could be an option, but the sports betting proposition failed by a significant margin there.
 

radsoxfan

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They are not out of gambling. PMT spent several minutes talking about gambling today. They cannot directly monetize from other gambling companies through partnerships and advertising with non-PENN entities.
Saw on Twitter the expectation is that they won't be able to open a Sportsbook but many think they will still be able to get gambling ad revenue from non-PENN entities (I can't imagine ESPN BET would ever advertise with Barstool so I'm sure that's out). Also, non-competes also don't last forever.

Barstool was centered on gambling long before PENN and I'm sure it will still be a central part of their content. Even if they're forced to do non-gambling ads during the gambling stuff.

Regardless, the motivation for Portnoy is definitely different than it was 5-10 years ago. He made his $ and its just his own personal pet/vanity project at this point. As long as he isn't losing a bunch of $ on it he can make it whatever he wants without being desperate to grow or monetize it. I expect (at least at first) it will probably downsize.
 
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radsoxfan

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People are underestimating how much reach Barstool has. They'll make money from their podcasts, merchandise sales, etc. They're bringing back Barstool Radio which was popular.
No doubt. Though given the non-competes, mostly failed attempt to go mainstream, and having to give PENN 50% of any future sale, it's pretty clearly worth FAR less than 500-600M valuation it had.

Still a pretty nice thing to pick up for free.
 

luckiestman

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No doubt. Though given the non-competes, mostly failed attempt to go mainstream, and having to give PENN 50% of any future sale, it's pretty clearly worth FAR less than 500-600M valuation it had.

Still a pretty nice thing to pick up for free.
They can’t sell but could they license the shows? Also, is it a fact that the noncompete Includes advertising? I saw one guy saying that but how do I know he is right? How long is the noncompete?
 

radsoxfan

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They can’t sell but could they license the shows? Also, is it a fact that the noncompete Includes advertising? I saw one guy saying that but how do I know he is right? How long is the noncompete?
Don't know length and I've seen mixed things re:advertising.

Clearly they can't open their own Sportsbook but may be able to still get ad $ from other gambling companies now.

I presume PENN has no claim on any ongoing profits they make, just a portion of any sale or other broad liquidation event.
 

radsoxfan

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brs3

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It will be fascinating to watch this 'back to the pirate ship' idea. Barstool 20 years ago featured so many fresh faced young talent, and culturally things were a bit different. Just like musicians struggle to retain their vibrant talent for decades, it is virtually impossible. I suspect the attempted sequel at rowdy Barstool is not going to go well.

Granted I stopped following their content entirely 3 years ago, have they retained their young male demographic? Are 20 year olds today taking this in like 20 year olds did in 2003?

If they could manage a unique pivot, that would be impressive, but I don't get that vibe from the last 24 hours.
 

luckiestman

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It will be fascinating to watch this 'back to the pirate ship' idea. Barstool 20 years ago featured so many fresh faced young talent, and culturally things were a bit different. Just like musicians struggle to retain their vibrant talent for decades, it is virtually impossible. I suspect the attempted sequel at rowdy Barstool is not going to go well.

Granted I stopped following their content entirely 3 years ago, have they retained their young male demographic? Are 20 year olds today taking this in like 20 year olds did in 2003?

If they could manage a unique pivot, that would be impressive, but I don't get that vibe from the last 24 hours.
PMT is huge still afaik. Not sure about anything else.
 

Kliq

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It will be fascinating to watch this 'back to the pirate ship' idea. Barstool 20 years ago featured so many fresh faced young talent, and culturally things were a bit different. Just like musicians struggle to retain their vibrant talent for decades, it is virtually impossible. I suspect the attempted sequel at rowdy Barstool is not going to go well.

Granted I stopped following their content entirely 3 years ago, have they retained their young male demographic? Are 20 year olds today taking this in like 20 year olds did in 2003?

If they could manage a unique pivot, that would be impressive, but I don't get that vibe from the last 24 hours.
I think Barstool still has a broad appeal to people in their 20s. I think eventually people grow up and will become annoyed with the frathouse nature of it, but if they can continue to fine new faces to reach younger audiences, it can be successful. The average person doesn't have any idea about PENN, ESPN or Portnoy regaining ownership of the company.

Out of people I know, Barstool seems popular with a lot of people outside of sports fans--including a lot of women. They are big on social media and things like the pizza reviews are close to mainstream popularity.
 

nattysez

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I think Barstool still has a broad appeal to people in their 20s. I think eventually people grow up and will become annoyed with the frathouse nature of it, but if they can continue to fine new faces to reach younger audiences, it can be successful. The average person doesn't have any idea about PENN, ESPN or Portnoy regaining ownership of the company.

Out of people I know, Barstool seems popular with a lot of people outside of sports fans--including a lot of women. They are big on social media and things like the pizza reviews are close to mainstream popularity.
I am not 20, but I'll observe that their aggregation style works well on TikTok -- reposting funny things on their channel and/or doing reactions to those things. I also noticed that some Barstool guys do not make it obvious who they work for on their personal channels, so I found myself enjoying their content without realizing it was (technically, I think) Barstool content.

FWIW, Portnoy mentioned earlier today that he paid Penn "pennies on the dollar" for Barstool, so I'm not positive he paid nothing -- but who knows.

I don’t think I’ve ever used this unironically before, but you really do hate to see it. Portnoy gets richer by being toxic.
As Darren Rovell once put it, "I feel bad for our country. But this is tremendous content."
 

Patriot_Reign

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In 2003 Barstool was just four dudes in a shitty office...

Also Portnoy's 10am thing, always had the feeling that those people grind the later hours, like nobody's leaving before 7, and there's always a group live streaming games.
 

deythur

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Don't know length and I've seen mixed things re:advertising.

Clearly they can't open their own Sportsbook but may be able to still get ad $ from other gambling companies now.

I presume PENN has no claim on any ongoing profits they make, just a portion of any sale or other broad liquidation event.
The Barstool Sportsbook app now shows Hollywood Casino at the top.
 

Jinhocho

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I think Barstool still has a broad appeal to people in their 20s. I think eventually people grow up and will become annoyed with the frathouse nature of it, but if they can continue to fine new faces to reach younger audiences, it can be successful. The average person doesn't have any idea about PENN, ESPN or Portnoy regaining ownership of the company.

Out of people I know, Barstool seems popular with a lot of people outside of sports fans--including a lot of women. They are big on social media and things like the pizza reviews are close to mainstream popularity.
I teach at a college in the south and have seen a number of barstool laptop stickers and clothing on students, mostly male but some female.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Portnoy may be a wholly unlikable person and some of the smoke around him makes him a lot worse, however his business instincts seem pretty damn sharp. I would not bet against him if he is still engaged. The other thing to consider with the Barstool brand is how much reach it has with the athletes they cover. Their tone and content just seems to resonate not just with sports fans but the actual players in most major sports. Of course ESPN does too but I really wonder which outlet they would choose to speak to first if both had the same reach.

Of course, there are likely many athletes who also find the brand undesirable and others upthread may be right that Portnoy getting paid may take away some of his motivation. But I don't see Portnoy that way. He isn't in this game for just wealth. He wants to be a power player of sorts and seems like the type who will never truly be happy/satisfied enough to stop.
 

Marciano490

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Barstool is the most popular brand at my nyc gym after Michigan. There’s people in Michigan shit everywhere. Seriously, try to go a day without seeing a Michigan shirt or hat.
 

bsj

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Portnoy is such an enigma for me. I genuinely like a lot of his content, and I like having a braggadocio Boston sports fan out there speaking for all of us sometimes (not all the time). But then there is the misogyny and frankly some of the politics you hear about (although he's done a better job of late with the latter relative to some others).
 

Spelunker

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Portnoy is such an enigma for me. I genuinely like a lot of his content, and I like having a braggadocio Boston sports fan out there speaking for all of us sometimes (not all the time). But then there is the misogyny and frankly some of the politics you hear about (although he's done a better job of late with the latter relative to some others).
Him representing Boston isn't exactly doing us any favors.
 

Patriot_Reign

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I've been curious as a content creation platform what metrics Barstool uses to track employee "productivity". Is it just as simple as podcast downloads or page views? A couple weeks ago after Portnoy bought BS back I saw a video where he was aghast that one blogger had only put out something like four blogs in the last month.
 

sodenj5

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I've been curious as a content creation platform what metrics Barstool uses to track employee "productivity". Is it just as simple as podcast downloads or page views? A couple weeks ago after Portnoy bought BS back I saw a video where he was aghast that one blogger had only put out something like four blogs in the last month.
Do blogs generate significant revenue? Who is still reading blogs? Who even goes to Barstool’s website?

I would imagine the lion’s share of their revenue comes from the podcasts and YouTube.

I haven’t a clue what 95% of them do besides sit around and shout at the TV during live streams.
 

Patriot_Reign

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Not unfair points. Their website is a bit of a mess and the only time I read a blog is if I stumble across a link to one that looks interesting on twitter. I've watched their live stream sporting game thing a couple times for a bit and have wondered who are all these people and what do they do.