Barstool’s many controversies don’t seem to be stopping it from making a major push into the mainstream college sports industry.
It has already purchased the naming and broadcasting rights to a bowl game, the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl, and launched a massive name, image, and likeness marketplace called TwoYay.
This season, it will host its first ever men’s basketball non-conference tournament, the company announced on Thursday.
The “Barstool Sports Invitational” will take place on Nov. 11 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, and feature a two-game slate featuring UAB vs. Toledo and Mississippi State vs. Akron. The brand will take care of everything from providing announcers and selling tickets to staging a halftime show, president Dave Portnoy said in a video.
Barstool has long operated university-specific social media accounts. But in the last year, it has made an investment in college sports unlike ever before.
After all, Barstool has aligned itself with cultural phenomena — from drinking to sports gambling — that college sports administrators long eschewed. But with the increase in athletic departments striking partnerships with gambling companies and alcohol companies, those previously “taboo” subjects are now more than welcome in the industry.
Over the years, however, the company has also developed a reputation for inappropriate employee conduct and content — but that doesn’t seem to matter, either.