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Volume 24 No. 214
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Barstool Sports' Rise To Prominence Propelled By President Dave Portnoy's Vision

Barstool Sports continues to offer its readers "escapism," something that "retains a lot of power among sports fans who still see games as a nightly release from their responsibilities," according to Jay Caspian Kang of N.Y. TIMES MAGAZINE. Chernin Digital President Mike Kerns, whose firm last year bought a majority stake in Barstool, said of the site, "When I got access to Barstool’s Google analytics, I knew this was something different. They had something like 20 percent of their visitors coming back about 20 times a day. I’ve been in this business for two decades, and all their numbers bucked the usual trends." Kang notes Barstool Founder & President Dave Portnoy "kept full editorial control," but under Chernin's guidance, the brand would be "scaled up into something that could be sold to advertisers, big media partners and even sports leagues." Kerns said, "Time is on our side. The younger folks within agencies and brands get Barstool and recognize the world is increasingly taking itself less seriously." Kang notes Dunkin’ Donuts had "long been wary of dealing with Portnoy, but this year, Barstool dedicated an entire month to promoting the chain’s new energy drink." Wendy’s also "expressed hesitation to partner with Barstool, but this summer the company sponsored 'Barstool 5th Year,' a Snapchat channel specifically targeted at college students" (N.Y. TIMES MAGAZINE, 11/19 issue).