Today we want to talk about Dave Portnoy and the creation of Barstool Sports. In 2003, Dave Portnoy started Barstool Sports. His philosophy was to create a media publication that catered to people interested in gambling. Barstool found their audience, which eventually transformed into being called “Stoolies.” Not only did Barstool create content, but Portnoy also created a personality.
Today, Barstool has 41 active podcasts, which once included two podcasts, Pardon My Take and Call Her Daddy, ranked in the top 20 podcasts in the United States. However, they don’t just find inside information on how to gamble better but also enjoy listening to the personalities that make up most of the content or shows. For Portnoy, he is an American success that has worked his way up to stardom.
The early days
Before entering the online sports betting industry, Portnoy grew up in Swampscott, Massachusetts, where he attended the local high school. He went to high school with current ESPN football analyst Todd McShay. After high school, he attended the University of Michigan, where he graduated with a degree in education in 1995.
In 1999, Portnoy moved to Boston and worked at an IT market research firm at Yankee Group. After working at the company for four years, he left and founded Barstool Sports. Since then, nothing has been the same.
Most people that contribute to the site started as bloggers. Potentially, they wrote a comical commentary on their podcast or vlog. They know that they can be themselves to the fullest, which is something that makes the shows authentic. We have seen writers make frequent appearances on national and regional airwaves. From talking about the top NBA teams to the best bets on Sunday afternoons, the brand Barstool Sports is beloved for their honest takes that are accompanied by a boisterous personality.
The company has grown over the last five years. In 2016, the Chernin Group purchased a majority stake. The headquarters was moved to New York City. Four years later, Penn National Gaming purchased a 36% stake in Barstool Sports for $163 million. Despite splitting up ownership stakes, Portnoy remains the key cog in running the site and remains in charge of creative content.
Portnoy was once arrested in 2015 after three Barstool employees and he handcuffed one another on the floor of NFL headquarters. The protest was their way of reacting to Deflategate. Also, he has been detained after trying to sneak into the Super Bowl by creating fake passes. In 2019, Portnoy was investigated by the National Labor Relations Board on charges that he illegally threatened to fire his employees if they are unionized. The lawsuit was settled in December 2019. The settlement forced Portnoy to delete his tweets that discussed any of the matters.
In 2017, Portnoy created an internet show called One Bit with Davey Pageviews. The goal was to review every pizza place in Manhattan. Celebrities and athletes often appeared as guests. In 2013, he ran for Mayor of Boston as a Libertarian candidate but did not win.