Success Crafted

The Diverse Revenue Streams of Barstool Sports

Barstool Sports: The Digital Media Company That Took Over Pop Culture

Sports and pop culture are two of the biggest industries in the world, and Barstool Sports has found a way to combine them into a powerhouse brand. Founded by Dave Portnoy in Massachusetts in 2003, Barstool has grown into a leading digital media company with a massive following and a controversial past.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the history of Barstool Sports and its founder, as well as explore the company’s growth, content formats, and its brands.

Company Background

Barstool Sports is a digital media company that focuses on sports and pop culture. With a motto of “By the Common Man, For the Common Man,” the company has developed a uniquely informal and prominent brand voice and a reputation for being controversial.

Barstool’s content is delivered through multiple formats, including audio, video, and text. The company has a significant presence on social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.

Barstool Sports also operates its mobile app and is available on Spotify.

Barstool Brands

The company got its start with the launch of its website,, but has since expanded into other brands. Pardon My Take is one of its most popular podcasts, while Call Her Daddy is a female-led podcast that focuses on relationships and sex.

$Penn is a retail-themed podcast where host Dan McManus interviews successful retail investors about their trading strategies.

Fan Merchandise

Barstool Sports has also become a significant retail brand, selling Barstool-branded clothing and merchandise through its

eCommerce store. The company has become well-known for its “Saturdays Are For The Boys” merchandise, which combines a catchphrase with Barstool’s recognizable logos.

Through its merchandise sales, the company has created a massive fanbase that follows not only the content but also the creators themselves.

Growth and User Reach

Barstool Sports has grown rapidly since its founding. The company currently has 66 million monthly unique users, with approximately eight million monthly website visitors.

Their social media following is equally impressive, with over five million Instagram followers and 2.5 million Twitter followers. These numbers show that Barstool Sports has become a force in digital media, making it one of the most notable brands in sports and pop culture.

History of Barstool Sports and its Founder

Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, has an extensive background in sports and gambling. After playing high school and college hockey, Portnoy began working as a stockbroker.

After his firm went bankrupt, Portnoy started his gambling career, eventually leading him back into the world of sports. It was from this experience that Barstool Sports was born.

Barstool Sports launched in 2003 as a print publication that focused on sports betting and gambling. The publication quickly gained a large following in the New England area.

In 2007, Barstool Sports became an online-only publication, dropping its print edition. The move helped the company’s growth, allowing it to reach a broader audience across the country and eventually around the world.

In the early days, Barstool Sports was known for its blunt and straightforward approach to sports and gambling. The company’s edginess helped it amass a loyal following, but it also brought controversy.

Barstool Sports faced backlash from time to time for its content, which some deemed offensive and problematic. In 2016, the media company’s reputation skyrocketed when it was purchased by Peter Chernin’s media investment firm, Chernin Group.

Chernin’s acquisition gave Barstool a significant cash infusion that helped it grow rapidly. Still, many fans were worried that the company’s editorial independence would be compromised following the acquisition.

To address those concerns, Barstool Sports brought on CEO Erika Nardini, a veteran media and technology executive. Nardini played an instrumental role in product expansion, introducing new shows and events such as pay-per-view content.

Controversies and Backlash

In addition to growing pains, Barstool Sports has also faced its fair share of controversy. Some people have accused Barstool Sports of stealing content from other creators, while others have criticized the brand for its problematic contracts, racial epithets, nudity, and rape culture.

More recently, social media users accused Portnoy of using the N-word in videos from before he founded Barstool, igniting a fresh controversy.

Positive Contributions to Society

Despite these controversies, Barstool Sports has also made some notable contributions to society. The company’s One Bite pizza review app has become a significant presence in the pizza world, while their COVID-19 relief fund and The Barstool Fund have raised millions of dollars for small businesses impacted by the pandemic.


Barstool Sports has become one of the leading digital media companies in the sports and pop culture space. With a massive following and a controversial past, the company has found a unique voice and a loyal fanbase.

While it’s not immune to criticisms and controversies, it has also made notable contributions to society in various ways. It remains to be seen what lies ahead for Barstool Sports, but one thing is clear – this media empire is here to stay.

Barstool Sports Revenue Streams: How They Make Their Money

Barstool Sports is not only known for its content and controversies but also for its ability to monetize its media platforms. From podcast advertising to

eCommerce, the company has been able to diversify its revenue streams.

This expansion into multiple revenue streams has helped Barstool Sports continue to grow and stay ahead of the curve. In this article, we will dive deeper into the various revenue streams that Barstool Sports utilizes.

Podcast Advertising

Barstool Sports has a significant audience across its various podcast offerings, making it a prime target for advertisers. Podcast advertising is a key revenue stream for Barstool Sports, and the company has become skilled at making it work for their shows.

Pardon My Take, Call Her Daddy, and Spittin Chiclets are just a few of the podcasts that have helped Barstool Sports amass over 30 million podcast downloads per month. The company uses both direct and programmatic ad sales on its podcasts, meaning that they sell ads themselves and also work with third-party buyers.

This mix means that Barstool Sports can ensure they are getting the best possible CPM rates for their inventory. More than anything, the company has fostered a culture among its fans that believes in the products and services it advertises.

Video Advertising

Barstool Sports has a massive presence on social media, including YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. The social media accounts for Barstool Sports are used to promote its content, as well as provide an advertising platform.

The company has been able to monetize this social media presence through pre-roll and mid-roll video ads. These ads play before and during videos, and the company charges advertisers based on the number of impressions those ads receive.

Display Advertising

In addition to podcast and video advertising, Barstool Sports also utilizes display advertising. The company’s website features various banner ads that generate revenue based on impressions.

Barstool Sports also battles ad-blocking software by using anti-ad-block software to force visitors to turn off their ad-blockers before they can view the site.


Barstool Sports has a unique advantage in the sports media industry – its ability to offer sports betting. In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that states could legalize sports gambling, and Barstool Sports was quick to launch its sportsbook app.

The app’s primary source of revenue comes from the “vigorish,” a percentage of every bet that goes to the house. The app will also make money from bet limits and can profit from losing bets, as long as they don’t exceed the total amounts of winning bets.

Pay-Per-View Events

Barstool Sports has also ventured into the pay-per-view (PPV) space. The company’s Rough N Rowdy event is an amateur boxing competition that is broadcast live on the internet for $19.99.

The PPV events offer another revenue stream for Barstool Sports and attract a specific audience that’s interested in these types of events.


Barstool Sports offers a premium subscription service called Barstool Gold that gives users access to exclusive content. The premium content is a mix of behind-the-scenes footage, extra podcast episodes, and early access to events and merchandise drops.

Barstool Gold has over 30,000 subscribers across two different tiers, providing the company with a steady stream of recurring revenue.


Barstool Sports has become a significant

eCommerce brand, selling a variety of Barstool-branded clothing and merchandise.

eCommerce sales provide a significant source of revenue for Barstool Sports, with merch sales making up a large portion of the company’s overall revenue.

Barstool Sports has been particularly adept at leveraging its show-specific messaging to drive merchandise sales, especially for its most popular shows like Pardon My Take and Call Her Daddy.


Barstool Sports has diversified its revenue streams to become one of the most successful digital media companies in the sports and pop culture space. Through podcast advertising, video advertising, and

eCommerce, the company has been able to build a loyal fan base while driving revenue.

Barstool Sports’ entry into the sports betting and pay-per-view space has given it an edge over competitors. Overall, the company’s expansion into multiple revenue streams provides a roadmap for other digital media outlets to follow.

Barstool Sports is a leading digital media company that has become a force in the sports and pop culture space. The company has diversified its revenue streams through podcast advertising, video advertising, display advertising, betting, pay-per-view events, subscriptions, and


Barstool Sports’ success has shown that diversification is key to staying ahead of the curve and building a loyal fan base. Overall, Barstool Sports’ expansion into multiple revenue streams provides a roadmap for other digital media outlets to follow.

In a constantly evolving and competitive market, this diversification strategy is crucial for the success of media companies in the long run.

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