Dave Portnoy and Alex Cooper, former colleagues, are revolutionizing media success

Dave Portnoy and Alex Cooper, former colleagues, are revolutionizing media success

The Rebirth of Barstool Sports: Dave Portnoy Reclaims Ownership in a Remarkable Deal

Barstool Sports

Stoolies, rejoice! Dave Portnoy, the controversial founder of Barstool Sports, has once again taken ownership of the online hub of sports and puerile humor he created. The internet has been buzzing with excitement over this news, as Portnoy reclaimed his media company from casino operator Penn Gaming for the incredible price of just $1, less than four years after selling it to Penn for a staggering $550 million. It’s a story that showcases both Portnoy’s determination and his love for the brand he built.

Portnoy now owns 100% of Barstool’s media business but will have to give Penn 50% of the gross proceeds if he ever sells the company. However, in a Twitter video, Portnoy made it clear that he has no intention of selling, stating, “I am never going to sell Barstool Sports. I’ll hold it ’til I die.” With this statement, he solidified his commitment to Barstool Sports and the freedom to express himself without any inhibitions.

But, in addition to Portnoy’s triumphs, there is another figure who deserves recognition in the media world—former Barstool employee and Call Her Daddy host, Alexandra Cooper. Cooper recently launched her Unwell Network, a platform that brings together the moment’s most influential voices, like Alix Earle and Madeline Argy. The network is set to produce podcasts and associated media that cater to Earle’s demographic and beyond.

What connects Portnoy and Cooper in their respective journeys is their understanding of the importance of intellectual property ownership. In today’s media landscape, content creators find themselves fighting for fair compensation, better working conditions, and representation. The livelihoods of social media creators are also subject to the constantly changing algorithms and payouts of social platforms. On top of all that, there is the looming threat of artificial intelligence utilizing creator content to generate work for free.

This is why owning and profiting from the fruits of their media brands holds such appeal for Portnoy and Cooper. Cooper’s pursuit of intellectual property self-determination began with Portnoy himself. After Portnoy discovered Call Her Daddy on Instagram, he acquired the show and brought Cooper and her co-host Sofia Franklyn under the Barstool Sports umbrella. During contract renegotiations, Cooper emerged as the sole host and secured 100% ownership of the show’s intellectual property. Eventually, she left Barstool Sports and signed a groundbreaking $60 million three-year exclusive licensing deal with Spotify.

When I had the opportunity to interview Cooper in her West Hollywood podcast studio, it became evident just how involved she is in the creation and production process of Call Her Daddy. With her hands firmly on the steering wheel, she meticulously edits episodes, records commercials, and uploads content, often working alone for multiple hours. Cooper’s dedication to maintaining creative control is unwavering, as she made it clear that she has no plans to bring on another co-host.

Portnoy shares a similar sentiment, emphasizing that regaining total control of Barstool Sports is perhaps his greatest victory. Shortly after reclaiming ownership, he used the platform to publicly criticize his own employees in a post titled, “How Fucking Brain Dead Are All My Employees?” It’s the kind of unfiltered content that only someone in charge can create.

The success and resurgence of Barstool Sports under Portnoy’s ownership serve as a testament to the power of remaining true to one’s vision and brand. In an increasingly complex media landscape, where ownership and control are highly sought-after assets, Portnoy and Cooper stand out as shrewd entrepreneurs who understand the value of intellectual property. As they continue to evolve their respective media empires, their stories serve as an inspiration for creators striving for independence, creative control, and financial success.

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