What is David Portnoy Net Worth ?
David Portnoy is an American sports media figure and internet entrepreneur who has a net worth of $80 million. Portnoy has earned his fortune as the founder of the digital sports conglomerate Barstool Sports.
He sold portions of Barstool over two transactions. He first sold a majority stake in 2016 to The Chernin Group. In January 2020, Penn Gaming acquired a 36% stake from the founders for $163 million. More on these transactions, and their impact on Portnoy’s wealth, later in this article.
David Portnoy was born on March 22, 1977, in Swampscott, Massachusetts. After graduating from Swampscott High School he went on to the University of Michigan where he graduated in 1999 with a degree in education.
After college he moved to Boston where he worked for an IT market research company called Yankee Group.
Dave founded Barstool Sports in 2003 as a print publication for the Boston metro area. The paper offered fantasy sports predictions, gaming ads, and sports coverage. The website was launched in 2007.
Over the next 10 years, Barstool would grow into an unlikely sports media powerhouse. In the site’s early days, Portnoy was known to regularly put in 10+ hour days, while still working on both Saturdays and Sundays.
On the site, Dave goes by the title “El Presidente” or “Stool Presidente”. The site is a mix of snarky sports coverage and attractive women. The brand has been described as a mixture between “ESPN and Girls Gone Wild.” This combination is apparently working well, as BarstoolSports is one of the most popular sports sites on the internet today.
In 2017 Portnoy launched a pizza review series called “One Bite with Davey Pageviews”. The unofficial goal of the show is to review every pizza place in Manhattan.
According to a Penn Gaming Q1 2020 10-Q SEC filing, of the $163 million in cash, roughly $23 million was given as convertible preferred stock and $3 million was set aside as “forward arrangements”. The convertible stock can ultimately be converted into approximately 0.5% of Penn Gaming’s market cap or 883,000 shares of Penn Gaming.
As of this writing, Penn Gaming’s market cap is $10 billion. So, a 0.5% stake would be worth $50 million at that level. Dave reportedly owns 1/3 of that stake which works out to around $16 million at today’s levels.
When combined with his remaining roughly $90 million stakes in Barstool, and wealth from previous transactions, we estimate Dave Portnoy’s net worth at $100 million.
In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dave donated $500,000 to the Barstool Fund, which was launched to help small businesses impacted by the crisis. Over time the fund raised $39 million which was distributed to nearly 350 small businesses.
In January 2016, it was reported a majority stake in Barstool had been acquired by Peter Chernin’s The Chernin Group for $10 – $15 million. By 2018, Chernin had invested $20 – 25 million to increase his stake to 60%. Portnoy remained 100% in control of the company’s content which eventually included podcasts, gambling content, merchandise, alcohol brands, TV shows, and more.
Penn National Acquisition
In January 2020, Penn National Gaming acquired a 36% stake in Barstool Sports at a valuation of $450 million. The total amount of cash transacted initially will be $163 million. Penn National has the ability to pay an additional $62 million in three years to bring its stake up to 50%.
After the initial deal closed, The Chernin Group’s 60% stake had been reduced to 36%, matching Penn National’s stake. The remaining 28% is still owned by Portnoy and a few key executives like CEO Erika Nardini.
In the days immediately after the announcement shares surged to an all-time high of $38. Unfortunately, in the wake of the worldwide Coronavirus outbreak, Penn’s stock plummeted. By March 17, the stock had slid to $7 a share. That’s an 81% drop from the peak.
By May 10, it had risen back up to around $20 a share. By August it had more than doubled to around $50 a share. By January 2021, it had risen to over $100 a share.