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Barstool Sports announced a new partnership this week with the Arizona Bowl to serve as the game’s exclusive sponsor and broadcast partner, creating the Barstool Arizona Bowl.
Discussing the news, Portnoy said that Barstool originally planned only to be the game’s title sponsor, keeping the broadcast on CBS. However, Portnoy says the old “white-haired” CBS execs couldn’t handle an association with his brand.
“CBS won’t work with us? Kick them the f*ck out, get those f*ckin’ white-haired, get them out, we’ll do the game ourselves,” Portnoy said on his podcast.
“Not because they didn’t like us,” Portnoy goes on. “I think they know we’re gonna eat their lunch and they view us as a competitor. Do you wanna give the hungry wolf fresh meat? Do you want to basically put steroids in your competitor?”
To some degree, Barstool is a threat to CBS Sports, especially its younger demographic. Barstool is a disruptor. Old guys hate and fear disruptors. Had CBS aired the game with Barstool’s name, CBS would’ve undoubtedly sent more eyeballs to Barstool’s brand.
Barstool’s partnership with the Arizona Bowl is one of the biggest stories in sports media. Barstool is already a threat to network media’s content divisions. But no one had yet viewed Barstool as a true player in the live sports arena. And while Barstool will likely never have the resources to poach top sporting events from CBS, NBC, ESPN, or Fox, if the Arizona Bowl is a success, the industry will then view Barstool as a destination for events like the Arizona Bowl, which the TV networks still fight over.
“What they (CBS) did is probably the best-case scenario for us,” Portnoy added. I agree