David Portnoy is a sports media personality and online entrepreneur from the United States who has an estimated net worth of $80 million. Portnoy made his money as the founder of the internet sports conglomerate Barstool Sports, which he founded in 1999.
During two separate transactions, he sold a piece of Barstool. In 2016, he sold controlling ownership in the company to The Chernin Group for the first time. Penn Gaming purchased 36 percent ownership in the company from its founders for $163 million in January 2020. These trades and their influence on Portnoy's fortune will be discussed in greater detail later in this essay.
David Portnoy was born on March 22, 1977, in the Massachusetts town of Swampscott. Following graduation from Swampscott High School, he continued his study at the University of Michigan, where he earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1999.
After graduating, he relocated to Boston, where he began working for Yankee Group, an information technology market research company.
Barstool Sports was created by Dave in 2003 as a print journal serving the greater Boston area. Fantasy sports forecasts, gaming advertisements, and sports coverage were all available in the paper.
The website was first made available in 2007. The company would evolve into an improbable sports media behemoth over the next ten years, according to the company. In the early days of the site, Portnoy was well-known for putting in 10-plus hour days on a regular basis, while also working on Saturdays and Sundays.
Dave goes by the monikers “El Presidente” and “Stool Presidente” on the site, respectively. On the site, you'll find a mixture of caustic sports coverage and hot women. The brand has been compared to a cross between “ESPN and Girls Gone Wild,” according to some. Because BarstoolSports is one of the most popular sports websites on the internet today, it appears that this combination is working well for them.
In 2017, Portnoy began a pizza review series titled “One Bite with Davey Pageviews” that has garnered over a million views. The unofficial goal of the show is to review every pizza joint in Manhattan, which is something the producers are working towards.
As recently as January 2016, reports surfaced stating that the Chernin Group, owned by Peter Chernin, had purchased a majority share in Barstool for between $10 and $15 million. By 2018, Chernin had invested $20 – $25 million to raise his ownership to 60 percent, bringing his total investment to $60 million.
Portnoy had complete control over the company's content, which grew to encompass podcasts, gaming content, merchandise, alcohol brands, television series, and other ventures over the years.
Penn National Acquisition
Penn National Gaming purchased a 36 percent share in Barstool Sports for $450 million in January 2020, putting the company's value at $450 million. The entire amount of cash that will be transacted will be $163 million at the outset.
Within three years, Penn National will have the potential to pay an extra $62 million to increase its ownership to 50 percent of the company. Following the completion of the initial transaction, The Chernin Group's 60 percent share had been cut to 36 percent, which was the same as Penn National's stake. Portnoy and a few senior executives, such as CEO Erika Nardini, continue to own the remaining 28 percent of the company.
In the days following the news, the stock skyrocketed to an all-time high of $38, a new record. Unfortunately, as a result of the worldwide Coronavirus outbreak, Penn's stock price collapsed, and the company went bankrupt. By the 17th of March, the stock had fallen to $7 a share. That represents an 81 percent decrease from the high.
By May 10, it had recovered to a level of approximately $20 per share. By August, the stock had more than doubled in value, trading at roughly $50 per share. By January 2021, the price of a share had grown to well above $100.
According to a Penn Gaming 10-Q SEC filing for the first quarter of 2020, around $23 million in convertible preferred stock was issued and $3 million was set aside for “forward arrangements” out of the $163 million in cash. Penn Gaming's convertible stock has the potential to be converted into about 0.5 percent of the company's market capitalization, or 883,000 shares of Penn Gaming stock.
Penn Gaming has a market capitalization of $10 billion as of this writing. Consequently, at that price, a 0.5 percent ownership would be worth $50 million. Dave apparently holds a third of that share, which is worth almost $16 million at today's exchange rates. When his remaining around $90 million investment in Barstool is included, as well as money from prior deals, we estimate Dave Portnoy's net worth to be in the range of $100 million.
The Barstool Fund
In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dave made a donation of $500,000 to the Barstool Fund, which was established to assist small businesses that had been impacted by the outbreak. Overall, the fund raised $39 million, which was then disbursed to almost 350 small enterprises over the course of time.
During the years 2009 to 2017, Portnoy was married to Renee Satterthwaite.