The Patriots may have been the victorious football team in Super Bowl LI, but Barstool Sports, a blog founded in Boston, found themselves claiming headlines seemingly everyday. To start, the Barstool crew was in Houston for their television debut after they scored a midnight slot on Comedy Central for their flagship show, the Barstool Rundown. The show had modest success, averaging approximately 250,000 viewers through the four-day trial period.
Things only got better for the Barstool from there. During the middle of Super Bowl media week, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio planned to have two Barstool personalities on his radio show, but found out quickly that Barstool was not in the good graces of the league and banned from media activities. PFT’s Michael David Smith reported this and even asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the Barstool Sports ban, to which Goodell feigned ignorance. In a slow media week and uninterested build-up to the Super Bowl, the Barstool story was one of the hottest topics around the country.
On top of the ban making news, Barstool Sports also made a splash in adding Pat McAfee, former Colts punter, to their staff as he announced his retirement from the NFL at age 29. At this point, Barstool was everywhere, ESPN, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, you name the outlet, Barstool was getting traction.
The cherry on top for Barstool was a Patriots victory, leading to Barstool merchandise being everywhere during the parade. Getting off of the team charter, Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia was spotted wearing a shirt portraying Goodell as a clown, made by who else but Barstool Sports.
All in all, Barstool found itself with a ton of promotion, both organic and planned, which will without a doubt help it expand from a predominantly New England brand to going national as they hope.