When Dave Portnoy began Barstool sports as a print media with his friends and wrote under fake pseudonyms to make it seem like the magazine was bigger than it actually was…, it was a smart move as years later, he is rich and continuously making a killing off of that singular decision. He reportedly spent 10 hours each day working on his brand during those early years. Today, Barstool sports is not only one of the most visited sports blogging websites on the internet, it is also a major business brand that has made Portnoy a lot of money. Dave Portnoy’s net worth is to the tune of $120 million. We walk you through the success story of how he was able to make it that big so fast.
Love For Betting Drove Portnoy Into Starting Barstool Sports
Dave Portnoy’s first job was at an IT market research firm called Yankee Group. He had relocated from Boston to New York where the company was situated. This was in 1999, he would spend the next four years with the company before leaving in 2003.
It was Portnoy’s passion for sports that drove him to establish what would later bring him fame and fortune. After noticing that no one was providing analysis to help him with tips for sports betting, Portnoy decided to fill that gap by starting the Barstool Sports that many American sports lovers now swear by.
Barstool Sports began as a local paper in Boston, providing sport betting tips to sports lovers in the area. He gathered a few childhood friends together who helped him with the writing which was done under multiple pseudonyms in a bid to make the paper seem like it was bigger than it actually was. In order to keep his new business afloat, Portnoy sold ad spaces to gambling companies and local bars.
Barstool Sports Went Online In 2007
After four years of hard work which paid off by establishing Barstool’s paper publication as the favorite of many in the Boston metro area, Dave Portnoy was ready to take his business to the next level when in 2007, he went online. It was not long before his witty blog posts began to garner traction. An online blog that offers free fantasy sports betting tips? Yes, please!
On the site, Portnoy writes under the name El Presidente, a persona with a blunt and candid approach which he has built upon over the years. Incorporating a section on the site dedicated to attractive women, Barstool Sports became a mainstay of bro culture.
Described as a combination of “ESPN and Girls Gone Wild,” Barstool Sports now has over 1 million daily visitors. When the publication first went online, Dave Portnoy spent at least 10 hours a day working, including during the weekends. Over the next 10 years, the business had grown big enough to woe rich investors.
How Dave Portnoy’s Net Worth Rose To $120 Million
The entrepreneur did not build his massive net worth in a day, below is a rundown of how he became this rich.
He Sold A Majority Stake In Barstool Sports For $10 – $15 Million
The first time Barstool Sports received external funding was in 2016 when Portnoy sold a majority stake in Barstool to The Chernin Group’s Peter Cherin for an amount between $10 million and $15 million. In the next two years that followed, Peter Cherin increased his stake in Barstool to 60% after increasing his investment to around $20 to $25 million. Despite the sale, Dave Portnoy negotiated to maintain 100% control of Barstool’s content.
Barstool would grow from just being a sports-centered online publication to include gambling content, podcasts where Portnoy would share stock market tips, merchandise sales, alcohol, a YouTube channel, and a TV show. Portnoy’s One Bite with Davey Pageviews, a series where Portnoy who is an avid Pizza lover sets out to review every pizza in Manhattan is credited with shooting Portnoy’s fame over the roof and in turn bringing more visitors to his website. The series now called One Bite Pizza Reviews and often features celebrities has episodes with up to 2 million views!
Dave Portnoy’s Net Worth Includes 1/3 of 0.5% of PENN’s $10 Billion Market Cap
In January 2020, casino and racetrack operator, Penn National Gaming bought a 36% stake in Barstool Sports for $163 million. At the time of purchase, Barstool Sports was valued at $450 million. Out of the $163 million Penn paid, $23 million was given as convertible preferred stock which converts to 0.5 % of Penn’s 883,000 shares.
Dave Portnoy owns one-third of 0.5% of Penn Gaming’s market cap which is valued at $10 billion. After the maths, Portnoy’s stake in Penn comes to around $16 million in valuation which of course is not immune from the vagaries of the stock market.
The new Penn deal saw Cherin Group’s 60% stake reduced to 36% while Portnoy and other major executives maintain a 28% stake. The deal gives Penn National the leeway to increase its holding to 50% by injecting an additional $62 million in three years. Barstool Sports saw its share price surge after the deal to an all-time high of $38, however, it was hit badly by the COVID-19 pandemic and fell to $7 a share. The stock has since bounced back, selling for $100 per share as of January 2021.
Meager Loss To Day Trading
Dave Portnoy loves to take risks, but not all of them have turned out profitable. In the space of one week, he lost about a million bucks to day trading. The Barstool founder took to Twitter in March 2020 to announce that he would be involved in day trading throughout the period of the pandemic. He made the decision despite knowing very little about the world of day trading. He started trading with $3 million but was down to $200,000 by the first week. By April of 2020, Portnoy revealed to Business Insider that he had lost $740,000 to day trading. This is a meager amount and a loss not big enough to hurt Dave Portnoy’s net worth of over a hundred million dollars, an amount that would most likely grow as he continues making shrewd business decisions.
Though the major contributor to Dave Portnoy’s net worth is his stake in Barstool, the internet entrepreneur is open to investment opportunities. He has revealed that he has invested in bitcoin and would love to buy more coins in the future.