Barstool Sports: A Digital Media Powerhouse

Each and every day, the means for consuming sports improves. Whether it’s games, highlights or news, services across countless platforms allow fans to catch the latest about their favorite team in an instant on their smartphones, tablets, laptops and more. The digital era of sports media continues to grow and sites like Barstool Sports are thriving as they take advantage of the expanding market.

Panel and talk radio/television programming for networks like ESPN and FS1 has seemingly become obsolete to the new age of digital media available at our fingertips. The capabilities seem endless and Barstool continues to pounce on every opportunity. While employing writers to cover a wide range of topics to bring in new readers and keep long-time readers — or “Stoolies” — interested, they’ve expanded from being a simple blog to being a media powerhouse. Videos of pizza reviews in Manhattan to insight of the latest viral video are just some examples of the new content Barstool has pushed out daily. Their fresh minds, thoughts and hard work allowed for the opportunity of live television to present itself: a half hour episode of their internet series “The Rundown” for four nights on Comedy Central leading up to Super Bowl LI.

As they broadcasted live from Houston, Barstool’s brand continued its rapid increase. Truly immortalized after the creation of the popular slogan “Saturdays Are For The Boys”, Barstool Sports rose to legitimacy. And while this often creates pressure to release fresh and improving content 24/7, Barstool continues to rise to the occasion.

The standards for their content has improved and their reach continues to spread. With the help of CEO Erika Nardini to keep the bloggers in check, founder Dave Portnoy and co. have struck gold in many aspects of the online world, but their biggest success doesn’t come from constant blogging. Instead, it’s podcasting. As mentioned earlier, Barstool thrives on covering countless topics, so why not expand that coverage to podcasting? The first Barstool podcast goes back to KFC Radio, originally hosted by New York based blogger Kevin Francis Clancy — or KFC — but quickly after KFC Radio REALLY took off, Barstool flooded the market with podcasts. From Pardon My Take, a satirical take on the world of sports, to Fore Play, a podcast for golfers, Spittin’ Chiclets for hockey fans and more, Barstool continues to rake in new listeners episode by episode, click by click.

As an “Award Winning Listener” of Pardon My Take since it’s pilot in 2016, I have personally found the podcast and their humor to be hysterical, albeit possessing a seventeen year old’s sense of humor sometimes helps. Each podcast seems to cater to the listener’s wants and that’s where the success stems from that has kept each show up and running. As long as the people like what they hear, Barstool will continue its stranglehold on the sports media market.

When Portnoy sold a majority stake of Barstool Sports to The Chernin Group and announced that the team of bloggers would be relocating to a centralized headquarters in New York City, nobody really knew what to think or what the future would hold for the site. Sure enough, in the time since the buyout, Portnoy remained on board in charge of all content related operations and the overall quality of Barstool Sports and its content improved drastically.

For years, Barstool has been looked down on as unprofessional, and while that appearance hasn’t totally shifted, it sure has grown up into the digital powerhouse it was destined to become. By capturing every available possibility for growth, Barstool Sports has changed the game of sports media for the better.


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