Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy is already known for his One Bite Pizza Reviews series on YouTube, and now his sports and lifestyle media brand is branching out beyond podcasts, TV and sports forging deeper into the world of food. Barstool is teaming up with Happi Foodi to launch the One Bite Frozen Pizza. The pizza will be available in Wal-Mart stores across the U.S.
“I’m taking over the frozen game,” said Portnoy in a video about the product launch. His review of their product delivered a 10 out of 10 rating.
Barstool Sports is also teaming up with Virtual Dining Concepts to join the food delivery business. Barstool Bites will be a delivery-only restaurant, offering a lineup of items including chicken wings, sliders, 14-inch subs, buckets of popcorn and fries. In other words, food someone might consume while watching a game.
Barstool Bites will be available in 300 cities nationwide. Virtual Dining Concepts relies on so-called “ghost kitchens” that use local restaurants to pack and deliver food using third-party apps like DoorDash and Grubhub for various brands.
Barstool Bites may also be expanding into physical restaurants and Barstool food trucks. “We’re going to experiment with giving our fans the ability to order the types of food we eat when we’re sitting on our couch watching football on Saturdays and Sundays,” CEO Erika Nardini told Bloomberg.
The delivery-only restaurant model has taken off during the pandemic. NPD Group says from June 2020 to June 2021, delivery-only restaurant orders increased by two-thirds. That compares to a 39% decline for in-restaurant dining. Bloomberg notes the industry is already crowded since they allow entrepreneurs to launch a restaurant without the large investment a physical location requires.
Food ventures are the latest in brand extensions for Barstool. It has also signed a multiyear branding rights deal with the Arizona Bowl. The move means the Dec. 31 game will air on Barstool platforms, not broadcast television. Barstool is also expanding its Barstool Golf Classic brand.
On the content side, earlier this month Barstool said it would create a new channel on the streaming television service Sling TV. The Barstool Sports Channel will feature a mix of sports and pop culture content including video versions of several podcasts. Barstool is reportedly developing several reality television series.
One thing Barstool talks less about these days is podcasting, although it remains a force in the audio industry. Barstool has 65 active shows which Podtrac said had a reach of 6.2 million listeners during August with downloads and streams topping 28 million. But those numbers are down significantly after Call Her Daddy defected to Spotify with an exclusive distribution deal that began June 1. Portnoy said the loss of the show will hurt the company’s bottom line since it was by far the biggest podcast revenue generator for the company. He also said they are looking at trimming some expenses as a result of losing the series.
Since launching in 2003, Barstool Sports has expanded from a website to podcasts and videos. Since casino operator Penn National Gaming bought a 36% share in the company in January 2020, Barstool has also put an increased emphasis on sports betting across its platform.