Barstool Sports Has Come for TikTok
The TikTok content house Sway House has been pulled into Barstool Sports’ orbit. Last month, Barstool launched a new podcast, BFFs, hosted by the media company’s founder Dave Portnoy and former Sway House member Josh Richards. Their partnership has resulted in a number of dramatic moments, including a heated back-and-forth between current and former Sway House members and Call Her Daddy host Alexandra Cooper on Twitter, and most recently allegations of cheating from Griffin Johnson against ex-girlfriend Dixie D’Amelio.
None of this is an accident. In fact, in some cases the drama seems downright choreographed. But you’d be correct in thinking that there’s still something a little odd about the partnership. In the most recent episode of BFFs, 43-year-old Dave Portnoy tells Griffin Johnson that 19-year-old D’Amelio was definitely “fucking somebody else” during their relationship.
Handwringing about the political correctness of Barstool Sports is an exercise in futility. Basking in the glow of people’s disgust has always been their brand—so, also, is taking internet stars under their wing.
Barstool became an internet entity in 2007, and three years later Portnoy hired Jenna Mourey—better known as Jenna Marbles—as his assistant. During her year at the outlet, Mourey became the voice of the now-defunct women’s spinoff, StoolLaLa. It was also during this time that her viral video, "How to trick people into thinking you're good looking," launched her YouTube career. Her sudden rise in popularity strained her relationship with Portnoy, prompting them to messily part ways in 2011.
Portnoy’s beef seems to be that Mourey has not given him proper credit for launching her internet career, although she did give him a thank you in her now-deleted Draw My Life video.
This year, Marbles announced the end of her YouTube career. Meanwhile, the wheels of Barstool-generated internet fame continue to churn. Portnoy floats in the same circle as YouTuber Logan Paul, who he claimed is responsible for the scandal between Call Her Daddy hosts Cooper and Sofia Franklyn early this year. Cooper won out continuing with the Barstool podcast—and getting trotted out on others, like BFFs, to stir up more drama.
It makes sense that Portnoy’s sights are now on TikTok. The brand already has a successful account on the app, as do its other properties, like Chicks In The Office. If Marbles and Franklyn prove anything, it’s that Barstool’s stars will always inevitably outgrow it. Starting fresh with 19-year-olds ensures at least some amount of longevity, but it will never not be weird for a 43-year-old to be doing it.