Dave Portnoy’s media conglomerate, Barstool Sports, is continuing to make headway throughout the United States. This company started as a print newspaper that Portnoy used to hand out in Boston, and now the company has taken over the media rights for the Arizona Bowl.
CBS Sports used to own the rights to the game between the MAC and Mountain West Conference, but they were replaced by Barstool Sports. Some announcements about the game have already been made, and even though this is a minor bowl game, it will be the biggest party in college football.
Details of the Acquisition
CBS Sports held the rights to the Arizona Bowl since 2017 after purchasing the contract from Sinclair Broadcast Group. Barstool’s goal has been to get into streaming games, and this will be the first venture into the market.
The Barstool Arizona Bowl will be streamed through the company’s website and various social media channels. Portnoy made it clear that he owns all the planning for the game, so Barstool personalities will commentate on the game and be included in the pre/postgame festivities.
Since Barstool is the title sponsor, they will also be responsible for the festivities during bowl week. There will be parties for plans, and the players will be treated well by the media company.
Barstool CEO Erika Nardini spoke to Sportico following the announcement of the game, which will be played on New Year’s Eve Day.
Nardini said, “We really believe that what we can do is take the best of traditional broadcast and take the best of traditional sponsorship and do both in a brand new way. We think we’ll bring new fans. We know we will bring a level of energy, and we’ll cover the game in a way that is completely unique and uniquely Barstool.”
Originally, Barstool was just going to sponsor the game without the broadcasting rights. Although, Barstool has been successful because of its ability to appeal to the younger demographic by pushing buttons throughout the sports world.
Barstool had a show on ESPN that was canceled because the two company’s philosophies did not align. Portnoy and Nardini felt that the same thing could happen with the bowl game, which is why they went all-in to broadcast the competition.
Barstool has the goal of innovating sports broadcasts. This will likely occur because they have changed the sports media landscape.
Nardini went onto say, “There’s no reason we can’t play in the broadcast space, the sponsorship space, and the comedy or personality and opinion space.”
Barstool has not announced any plans for the game, but ideas were discussed in a recent episode of Stool Scenes. Stool Scenes is Barstool’s take on the office where fans get to see what occurs every day at the company’s HQ.
Scott Stapp, the vocalist of Creed, is being contacted about performing the halftime show. Barstool personalities like Frank the Tank, Caleb, and Rone will all serve as sideline reporters.
Big Cat and PFT are expected to be in the booth with Portnoy. The founder plans on keeping the integrity of the game, but it’s going to be unique.