NASCAR, Barstool Sports Halt Ad Relationship Due To Multiple Factors
NASCAR has paused its advertising relationship with Barstool Sports, the result of both a COVID-forced adjustment on marketing and due to sensitivities around social-justice protests this summer. NASCAR first aligned with Barstool in early ’19 heading into the Daytona 500, when it sponsored Barstool's pizza review series and brought Founder Dave Portnoy to the season-opening race. The deal evolved this year into more of a partnership in which money was going both ways as Barstool activated at tracks and sponsored cars, including that of retiring Stewart-Haas Racing driver Clint Bowyer. The sides also started a new NASCAR-themed Twitter handle and podcast, the latter of which was hosted by Portnoy and Bowyer. However, the podcast stopped during the pandemic break, returned for one episode when NASCAR returned to action in mid-May, and then has been offline since. NASCAR confirmed to THE DAILY that it is not currently spending with Barstool Sports, and added that it has had to adjust much of its marketing and media spends due to the pandemic.
EARLY INDICATION: Portnoy actually revealed that the deal had been paused in a late September episode of the “Dave Portnoy Show” podcast, but those comments received almost no attention in the NASCAR industry. Responding to a fan question about where Barstool’s NASCAR involvement had gone, Portnoy: “Hopefully we re-look at that in a year or so -- so, obviously, I love Clint, friendly, like him in every way he can be liked -- this guy is a good dude. So COVID happened, we stopped, we start picking up a little bit but it’s like: ‘Do I have to go to the office?’ And then to be honest, NASCAR had so many (Black Lives Matter) issues, and I started having BLM issues, and it just was like: ‘Is this the right time for either of us to co-join just from an aesthetics point of view?’ And the answer was probably like: ‘Let’s let it settle,’ it was probably better for both.” Portnoy then responded “yeah” when asked to confirm that meant that the deal was paused. NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from its facilities this summer and also had the high-profile noose incident at Talladega Superspeedway.