Dave Portnoy, founder and president of Barstool Sports, has brought his media empire to Philadelphia hoping to connect to fans here, writes Richard Rys for Philadelphia Magazine.
For the under 40 crowd, he’s a superstar, as reflected in the enthusiastic response he received on a recent visit to Sam’s Boardwalk Style Pizza in Havertown for Portnoy’s signature pizza review.
Barstool has more than 100 million followers on social media, 40 podcasts, a SiriusXM channel, merchandise, a vodka brand and a day-trading channel with 330,000 YouTube subscribers.
Its 2019 revenue was nearly $100 million.
Penn National Gaming Inc. has partnered with Barstool Sports to launch a gambling app, Barstool Sportsbook, in Pennsylvania, which explains Barstool’s presence in the Philadelphia market.
Impacting its appeal to the Philadelphia sports fan, however, is Barstool’s darker side, with content linked to misogyny, racism and violent, abusive language toward women.
The same Philadelphia that Portnoy calls “a very Barstool city,” is also one that got rid of Donald Trump, ended the Wing Bowl and trashed the Frank Rizzo statue, so are we really a Barstool town?
“Our fans, they get that it’s a give-and-take,” Portnoy says, acknowledging his status as a “Masshole.”
Read more about Barstool’s relationship with Philadelphia at Philadelphia Magazine.