For those of you that haven’t heard of Barstool, it may be time to get out from under the rock you’ve been living in for the past few years. A company that started as essentially a blog site, Barstool Sports has become one of the biggest names in all of media thanks to the tireless efforts of Dave Portnoy, Barstool’s founder. Barstool has a hand in everything now, from sports to betting to social media to pop culture. If there’s something you’re interested in, you can bet there’s a podcast for it on Barstool.
That being said, this is not an article to convince you to frequent the site or to follow Barstool on social media. This is an article to bring light to something amazing that the company is doing during Covid. As we all know, small businesses are struggling during this pandemic and global shutdown. Wherever you live, I’m sure you’re aware of at least one or two shops, restaurants, or other small businesses that have had close their business in the last year.
Portnoy and Barstool decided to launch the Barstool Fund in order to combat these shutdowns. Regardless of what your political position is for shutdowns and whether or not the government has the right to tell businesses they need to shut down, we can all agree that businesses are struggling at this time. Barstool decided that it was time to do something about it. They started with their own donation of half a million dollars to kick off a fund for supporting small businesses.
The process is pretty cool. On their site, small businesses across the country can apply for financial aid. They submit information about their business, the difficulties caused by being shut down during Covid, and what they would need in order to survive and avoid having to close operations forever. Obviously not every business can be saved, but Barstool is doing their best through the fund to help as many of these businesses as possible.
As I currently write this, the Barstool Fund has raised almost 28 million dollars for small businesses. 28 MILLION. This includes contributions from celebrities, sports teams, and other high profile names that recognize the incredible efforts that Barstool Sports are putting forth for these businesses. The biggest statistic is that over 150 businesses have been supported and probably saved due to the Barstool Fund.
As someone that believes in the capability of the private sector and not having to rely on the government for handouts or bailouts, it’s incredible that a company is able to think of and implement a strategy for saving businesses. Barstool deserves a ton of credit for this. It starts at the top with Dave Portnoy and CEO Erika Nardini, but it really comes from a company culture of excellence. Barstool is here to entertain, but just like their constant new endeavors in entertainment, they seek to find a need and fill it. In this case they’ve filled a need for companies to have the opportunity to stay open despite the government forcing them to limit or close operations during the Covid pandemic.
How to contribute
By clicking on any of the various links I’ve posted throughout this article, you can head to the Barstool Fund page and contribute to the relief effort Barstool has started. You can either make a typical donation, or you can scroll down and purchase the various merchandise for sale, the profits of which go to the Barstool fund.
I know that this is an out-of-sorts type of article for this site, but sometimes being influential is about finding an opportunity to be socially conscious and making a contribution. If you have the means to help out, I encourage you to do so.
I’ve been following this company for a long time, and while some people may find it surprising that essentially a comedy-driven social media and blogging giant would create something so philanthropic, I’m not surprised whatsoever. As I’ve said, Barstool has developed a culture that encourages seeking out needs and filling them. On top of that, Portnoy and Nardini clearly care about the well-being of other businesses and for others in general. Portnoy especially may be very loud, occasionally abrasive, and definitely obnoxious, but he’s got a big heart and it is on display with the Barstool Fund.
For more information, visit the Barstool Fund and see firsthand the work being done by these relief efforts.