American entrepreneur and well-known sports media personality David Portnoy founded his successful print publication, Barstool Sports, back in 2003. As the years went on, his business exploded in popularity. Today, he is estimated to be worth over $120 million.
David now lives in Philadelphia after relocating from his luxurious New York City apartment in September of 2020 to focus on his $450 million partnership with Penn National Gaming, with the goal of launching a new betting app.
So why did David Portnoy move to the City of Brotherly Love, and what does that mean for the future of his digital sports media company, Barstool Sports? We’ll take a brief look back at David’s rise to fame, then see what Philly has in store for the brand’s future.
The Beginning of Barstool Sports
Before the app, David created his company Barstool Sports in Milton, Massachusetts in 2003. The company created printed content that centered on sports, like fantasy sports projections and gambling advertisements, and was sent out to the surrounding Boston metropolitan area.
It wasn’t long before Barstool Sports added pop-culture topics into the mix and expanded its repertoire of print content to include digital media, offering podcasts, blogs, and funny video series. Barstool Sports officially launched on the web in 2007.
Ten years later David created an online show for Barstool that was a huge hit, called One Bite with Davey Pageviews. In the show, David reviewed different pizzerias around Manhattan, with the goal of reviewing every single pizza shop.
As David included celebrities in his web shows like New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, chef Guy Fieri, TV personality Jon Taffer, and Olivia Culpo, former Miss Rhode Island USA and style influencer, it further cemented his entrepreneurial and digital media creator status. People loved the show and him.
As with anything, the money helped continue to build David’s brand. Entertainment and technology investors The Chernin Group and Penn National Gaming, Inc. are currently the company’s two primary investors.
In January of 2016, The Chernin Group purchased a 51% majority stake in Barstool, thus relocating to a new headquarters site in New York City. David followed suit and moved there, too.
Living In Philly Would Help Launch His Betting App
Based in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania which is about an hour’s drive from Philadelphia, casino and racetrack operator Penn National Gaming partnered with David to help further build his Barstool Sports brand and launch a new betting sportsbook app.
Sports betting is legal in Pennsylvania, as well as in 18 other states.
On January 29th, 2020, Penn National bought a stake in Barstool Sports for a whopping $163 million dollars. Even as Penn National Gaming currently controls a 36% stake in Barstool, David probably couldn’t turn down that mouth-watering almost half-a-billion-dollar partnership.
We don’t blame him! And thus, his choice to move to Philadelphia.
Brand Would Be Featured on Penn National Gaming Platforms
David and Penn National Gaming’s partnership agreed to feature Barstool Sports on mobile betting platforms like Hollywood Races, Viva Slots, and Mychoice Casino. The app launch had to be pushed back from August to September 2020 due to complications from the Coronavirus.
Jay Snowden, CEO of Penn, wanted to ensure that users would have a “great experience” on the app, hyping up its user interface, app intuitiveness, traveling wallet, and betslip experience. The Barstool Betts app even includes Barstool personalities and other exclusive betting features that the competition lacks.
Overall, the app intends to increase the public’s exposure to Barstool and the online sports gambling world. Penn National Gaming hopes that the new app will convert a percentage of Barstool’s 66 million fans into sports gamblers.
Will David Be Moving Again Soon?
Because Penn National Gaming already has live online casinos in Pennsylvania, it was a pretty easy choice for Barstool Sportsbook to roll out their new platform there. However, the companies don’t want to be locked in Pennsylvania forever.
Snowden has mentioned Michigan as the next possible candidate, as well as New Jersey, states that both allow legal sports gambling.