David Portnoy Net Worth: The Financial Empire of El Presidente

  • Net Worth: Over $125 million as of 2023, largely from Barstool Sports.
  • Barstool Sports: Founded and expanded Barstool Sports into a major sports media enterprise.
  • Diversified Investments: Portfolio includes real estate, stocks, and cryptocurrencies.
  • Philanthropic Activities: Known for his efforts during the pandemic through the Barstool Fund.
  • Resilience: Maintained and grew his business ventures despite various controversies.

3 Fun Facts about David Portnoy

  1. Pizza Reviews: Famous for his “One Bite” pizza reviews on YouTube.
  2. Pajama Pitch: Wore pajamas to sabotage a meeting with Sequoia Capital.
  3. Watch Brand: Launched the Brick watch company, facing criticism for high prices.

How Much is David Portnoy Currently Worth?

David Portnoy or, as many know him, El Presidente, is a wealthy business owner and sports media personality with a tremendous net worth.

Dave Portnoy’s net worth amounts to over $125 million as of 2023, most of which is attributed to Barstool Sports, his business and primary source of income.

Dave Portnoy had a humble start in the business world.

His journey began with a localized, small print publication back in 2003. Barstool Sports initially targeted sports fans in Boston and offered gaming ads, sports coverage, and predictions.

Today, Portnoy’s acumen for business has led him to become one of the richest people in the US. In this article, we’ll talk about Portnoy’s net worth, as well as his investment choices.

Dave Portnoy Net Worth Breakdown: 

From his brilliant work with Barstool Sports through his stock and crypto investments, David Portnoy has made a big name for himself.

Today, Portnoy’s net worth encompasses of stocks in Barstool Sports, other stocks, real estate investments, crypto investments, and much more.

Let’s take a peek into what makes Dave Portnoy’s net worth:

Asset Contribution to Net Worth
Barstool Sports $90 million
Other Stocks $15 million
Real Estate Portfolio $10 million
Other Ventures $5+ million
Total Net Worth $125 million

Key Takeaways: David Portnoy’s Financial Journey

  1. Diversified Investment Strategy: David Portnoy’s wealth is not just tied to Barstool Sports but is spread across stocks, real estate, cryptocurrencies, and other ventures, showcasing a strategic approach to wealth management.
  2. Entrepreneurial Spirit: Portnoy’s ability to transform a small magazine into a major sports media empire highlights his entrepreneurial spirit and knack for scaling businesses effectively.
  3. Market Acumen: His successful negotiation with large entities like The Chernin Group and Penn National Gaming demonstrates his sharp business acumen and understanding of market dynamics.
  4. Resilience and Adaptability: Despite various controversies and market fluctuations, Portnoy’s ability to adapt and steer his business through turbulent times underlines his resilience.
  5. Philanthropic Efforts: Beyond business, Portnoy has engaged in various philanthropic efforts, particularly through the Barstool Fund during the pandemic, showcasing his commitment to social causes.

Dave Portnoy’s Early Life

David Portnoy was born in 1977 in Swampscott, Massachusetts. He graduated from the local high school and moved to study at the University of Michigan where he got his college degree in Education.

After he graduated, in 1999, Dave Portnoy relocated to Boston to work at Yankee Group, an IT market research firm.

It didn’t take Dave long to act on his business acumen and in 2003, he started Barstool Sports, a print magazine for the Boston area. His sports media company at this point featured:

  • Fantasy sports predictions
  • Gambling content and advertisements
  • Sports journalism

In the beginning, Barstool was a physical magazine sold throughout Boston.

In 2007, Dave launched its first website. Over the next decade, what started as a small sports media company would turn into a sports media powerhouse, a brand described as a mix between ‘ESPN and Girls Gone Wild‘.

Today, it still has a similar vibe and even has a series called “Local Smokeshow” which is often lambasted as being sexist and misogynist. It is still one of the most popular websites and media brands for sports fans despite the criticisms.

barstool sports website
Barstool Sports’ “Local Smokeshow” series

How David Portnoy Made Millions With Barstool Sports

It wasn’t until the age of 39 that Dave Portnoy officially became a millionaire. His journey was long and included the sale and re-purchase of Barstool Sports. Let’s go through it to learn how this millionaire got to the point where he is today.

Early Expansion

In the early 2010s, Portnoy moved Barstool Sports to a web-only model and ceased its written publication entirely.

It quickly began gaining steam as it focused on college-aged sports fans.

Around the same time, Portnoy decided to branch the company out into multiple separate university-focused brands like a Barstool U of M blog which was entirely focused on University of Michigan sports.

This model was incredibly successful and drew in millions of eyes in its first few years.

By the end of 2013, Entrepreneur reported that the site was attracting a whopping 4 million unique users per month and 80 million total pageviews.

The Chernin Group Acquisition

In January of 2016, the site’s success paid off in droves. David Portnoy sold stakes in Barstool to The Chernin Group, owned by Peter Chernin. This purchase was worth between $10 and $15 million at the time.

In only 2 years, Chernin had invested over $20 million into Portnoy’s company and increased his stake to 60%.

While this was the case, Portnoy was still managing the content and brand of Barstool – and expanded it to include:

  • Gambling content
  • TV shows
  • Merchandise
  • Alcohol brands
  • Podcasts

The most important change that came from the acquisition was the 2020 launch of Barstool Sportsbook, a sports betting app that almost immediately became quite successful because of the popularity of the brand.

barstool sportsbook

The betting app has since been rebranded and it was never as large as the top sportsbetting apps like Fanduel in terms of betting volume but it was still extremely profitable and a remarkable success.

The Penn Gaming Acquisition

In February 2020, Portnoy sold a majority stake in Barstool Sports to Penn National Gaming. Penn Gaming acquired 36% of Barstool Sports for about $163 million.

The deal included a path to full ownership for Penn Gaming. At this point, both The Chernin Group and the Penn Gaming company had the same stake in the company.

Wondering who owned the rest of Barstool Sports? It still belonged to Dave Portnoy and some of his executives, including Erika Ayers, the current CEO of the company.

Barstool Sports & Penn Gaming Through the Pandemic

The pandemic seems to have hit Barstool Sports and Penn Gaming hard.

When Penn Gaming purchased half of its shares, its own stock (NASDAQ: PENN) reached its all-time high (at the time) of $38. However, during the Coronavirus outbreak, the stock dropped 81% from this peak, plummeting the price to $7 a share.

By January of 2021, the stock’s price rose to over $100 a share, reaching its peak of $130 in March that same year.

This is precisely what prompted Penn National Gaming to buy the remaining stocks in the company.

The Second Penn Entertainment Acquisition

On August 17, 2022, the brand decided to acquire Barstool in its entirety in a 2 step process. It paid $62 million to increase its stake in the company to 50% before purchasing the rest of the shares for another $325 million.

David Portnoy’s Re-Purchase of Barstool Sports

To everyone’s surprise, the founder of Barstool Sports, Dave, bought back the rights to his brand on June 30 of 2023 – for a single dollar! This happened on the same day when Penn announced its new partnership with ESPN to rebrand its sports betting app “ESPN Bet”.

But, why would Penn National Gaming sell the company at just a dollar?

Well, that isn’t the full story. Penn Gaming actually didn’t have much use for the brand in the first place as the main reason was to launch Barstool Sportsbook. Now that it has an even better brand with its partnership with ESPN, it no longer needs Barstool.

Furthermore, Portnoy promised to give Penn 50% of the proceeds from any future sale of the company and agreed to various non-compete and other restrictive agreements.

This is likely a decent deal for Penn as Barstool is worth much more with El Presidente involved.

Finally, it’s safe to assume that Penn Entertainment will get a write-off on the business value. It said that it expects to record a $800 million to $850 million loss on the deal.

Dave Portnoy Net Worth: Other Businesses and Investing Journey

The majority of David Portnoy’s net worth came from Barstool, but this is not the media mogul’s only source of income. It only makes up about $90 million of his $125 million net worth.

As a matter of fact, Dave’s net worth was estimated at about 100 million just a few years ago. Thanks to his prowess in investing across multiple verticals, he created a strong portfolio of assets that expanded beyond his sports media empire.

So what does the ‘stool presidente‘ invest in today?

Real Estate

Portnoy has made big investments in real estate since he first founded Barstool Sports – and especially in the last few years. Dave owns a house on Nantucket Island, which was worth $2 million back in 2015 and is worth over $7.5 million today.

In 2021, Portnoy bought his home in Miami worth $14 million. Today, this property is worth around $17 million.

david portnoy next to his mansiojn

Source

In 2022, Portnoy bought his Hamptons beach house at a price of $9.75 million. If real estate prices continue to rise, he will likely continue to profit off of these massive investments.

Other Companies and Startups

Barstool isn’t the only company that Portnoy has been involved with.

In 2022, Portnoy launched a watch company called Brick. The new brand launched with 2 collections – a quartz chronograph and a three-hand automatic.

The company has faced a lot of negative attention online, mostly because of the cost of the watches. Most of them sell at over $2,400 a piece and, according to the public, they are too simple.

Sleuths found that nearly identical watches were selling elsewhere for $42.

Another reason why this startup failed to succeed may have been David Portnoy himself. People were offended by his unabashed unveiling of the brand, where Dave stated: “Hopefully people buy the watches and like them – and if not, well, f*ck you.”

Despite the complaints and high prices, the brand is still alive so it shouldn’t be counted out yet.

In 2017, Dave started a series of pizza reviews he called ‘One Bite with Davey Pageviews”. In his series, he rated every pizza shop in Manhattan and later on, in other states.

The series has become enormously popular on YouTube and social media, bringing in hundreds of thousands of views on reviews of even the smallest pizza places around the country.

Stocks

In addition to his business ventures, Portnoy likes to invest in other companies.

While the majority of his net worth is in Barstool, he has reportedly made quite a bit of money trading stocks and even started day trading at one point.

He sold much of his largest position excluding Barstool, the Penn Gaming stock he made from the acquisition, for over $30 million.

He has owned many other stocks including Spirit Airlines and AMC in the past but his other investments are mostly unknown.

His stint in day trading was a rollercoaster of massive wins and painful losses. It is said that he made over $1 million from a single trade a few years back.

However, multiple publications have reported that he has suffered multiple 6 figure losses from single trades.

Perhaps because of these dramatic swings, he stated that he won’t be day trading any longer after the pandemic and will take a more passive approach in the future.

Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies make up another significant portion of David Portnoy’s net worth.

He has dabbled in this field for many years and now has large investments in various digital currencies.

For starters, Portnoy was an early investor in Bitcoin.

However, he lost at least some of his crypto holdings during the FTX debacle. He hasn’t revealed exactly what he lost or what he has left.

At one point, Dave admitted he was skeptical of BTC.

He said that he bought about $1 million in Bitcoin when it was trading around $11,000 worth of the crypto back in the day, but changed his mind and sold them the next day for a loss.

However, in 2022, he announced that he bought 29 Bitcoin and that he was ‘in it for the long haul’. He also purchased a large amount of the popular altcoin Chainlink though he seems to have lost money on the investment.

Dave has a $40,000 investment in a controversial coin (which some consider a scam) called SafeMoon, now worth $2,300 per coin.

He was actually sued for allegedly “shilling” the token despite the loss but the lawsuit was abandoned by the plaintiffs within about a month.

While the percentage loss he took on the trade is painful, it doesn’t affect his net worth much.

What Can We Learn From Dave Portnoy’s Success?

Life stories like the one of David show us that success demands some risks.

From a humble sports blogger to a courageous owner of the small Barstool sportsbook to a man we know as ‘El Presidente’, Dave achieved great things thanks to his courage and knowledge.

Today, Portnoy is known as one of the most successful business people in media as well as a successful investor.

The main takeaway from Portnoy’s success with Barstool is to take advantage of blossoming mediums like they did with social media.

His idea to build one larger overarching brand and multiple sub-brands covering top universities across the country was another monumental invention that media companies should remember.

Another important thing to learn from his personal success is that we shouldn’t keep ‘all of our eggs in one basket’.

As you learned, he earned millions from Barstool, but he also invests in the stock market, the crypto market, and real estate. Thanks to his versatile investment portfolio, his net worth of 100 million turned into 125 in just a few years.