Friday, 17 January 2020

NASCAR and Barstool Sports could be a match made in heaven – Beyond the Flag

NASCAR and Barstool Sports could be a match made in heaven – Beyond the Flag
15 Sep

It is a small sample size for this season, but fans and NASCAR as a whole should be excited about what Barstool Sports could potentially bring to the table for the sport.

With Barstool Sports set to sponsor Matt DiBenedetto’s #95 Leavine Family Racing Toyota in two races through the remainder of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season, this could potentially blossom into a great relationship between NASCAR and Barstool.

Barstool, which is set to sponsor the #95 Toyota this weekend during the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and during the 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in mid-October, is one of the most powerful sports media outlets today. They have a huge following, especially among the younger population, an area in which NASCAR is struggling.

With NASCAR’s average age for viewership hovering in the mid-50s, it is crucial for the future of the sport to try to appeal to a younger audience. This is where Barstool can become a great asset.

Barstool has a massive following on social media. It has 7 million Instagram followers, 3.2 million Facebook followers and 1.7 million Twitter followers. Its followers vary through all age groups, but the company really appeals to a younger following.

It seems that all of a sudden, Barstool is showing a big interest in NASCAR this year. Since the Daytona 500, which Barstool president Dave Portnoy attended and interacted with multiple drivers, the company has been fairly active in the NASCAR community. Portnoy even featured numerous drivers on his famous pizza reviews during the week leading up to the Daytona 500. After the race, Barstool’s top rated podcast, Pardon My Take, had race winner Denny Hamlin on the show.

Throughout the season, Portnoy attended two more races, the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway and the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. He gave fantastic reviews after being at each race.

The latter was, of course, the race that DiBenedetto almost won just days after the news of him not returning to Leavine Family Racing next season broke. Portnoy interviewed DiBenedetto after that race and obviously felt that he was a good driver to sponsor.

Now with Barstool on the #95 Toyota for two races this year, this could be the beginning of a very beneficial relationship. If Barstool can help expose NASCAR to a younger audience and get them as excited about it as Portnoy is, it can lead to a massive fanbase boost, and as long as Barstool has someone to sponsor in NASCAR, I don’t see why that can’t happen.

The most interesting thing to watch going forward will be whether or not Barstool sticks with the sport. I see them as a company that would like to stick with a single driver and sponsor them. With Matt DiBenedetto going to Wood Brothers Racing next season, will they stick with him, sponsor somebody else or leave NASCAR altogether?

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Tune in to NBC Sports Network this Sunday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m. ET to see Matt DiBenedetto drive the #95 Barstool Sports-sponsored Leavine Family Racing Toyota in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series playoff opener, the South Point 400, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.



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