Under the name, image and likeness (NIL) policy the NCAA passed in 2019, Barstool Sports has launched its Barstool Athlete promotion for college athletes all around the nation. What does this mean for college athletes that want to partner with the company?
The less-than-competitive process of becoming a Barstool Athlete is very accessible to all collegiate athletes in the nation. “I literally saw a link on Twitter and I clicked it and filled it out,” said football redshirt freshman Max Zart.
The Google Form was the only process he went through in order to be named an official Barstool Athlete. The application now runs through the company’s official website. Neither version states anywhere what the benefits are of becoming a Barstool Athlete.
“I don’t receive any financial compensation from Barstool,” women’s lacrosse senior Sheridan DeVito said. “We do get free gear, such as the Athlete sweatshirt they released. We also are able to use the name ‘Barstool Athlete’ as a sponsorship.”
“I got a t-shirt, a hoodie, and a pair of sweatpants!” Zart replied. “I also got posted on their [Barstool Athlete’s] Instagram.”
The benefit of becoming a partner with Barstool only results in free merchandise, therefore promoting Barstool Sports directly. In addition to the free gear these two athletes received, both said that they were required to put “Barstool Athlete” in the bios of every social media account they have.
“If you delete it off your bio, they’ll send you an email telling you to put it back in. It’s really the only requirement for what you have to do to get the merch. But once I got the merch, I deleted it out of my bio,” Zart laughs. “There’s really no other benefits to being a Barstool Athlete.”
“I benefit more socially being a part of the Barstool Athlete community, getting to have a connection to other athletes all across the United States,” said Devito. “It also helps just to give recognition to athletes at smaller schools who usually wouldn’t be able to get major sponsorships.”
Across the nation, there are approximately 4,000 collegiate athletes that are Barstool Athletes that participate in lacrosse, football, soccer, track and field, baseball and many other sports.
Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports tweeted as Barstool Athletes Inc. was launched back in July of 2021, “Barstool Athletes Inc. is the most barstool thing ever. No thought put into it. No clue what we were doing. And two hours later the most powerful student-athlete organization in the country. Still no clue what’s happening.”
Barstool Athletes Inc. was born with practically no blueprint behind it, but now it is a nationwide vehicle to promote Barstool Sports. The benefits for these athletes and for Barstool end up resulting in the same notion: free promotion.
Barstool Athletes are promoting Barstool Sports as a whole by wearing the free merchandise they received and by putting “Barstool Athlete” in their social media bios, and Barstool Sports is getting promotion on social media by offering their merchandise for free.
Edited by Ricardo Martinez and Sam DiGiovanni
Photo Credit: Barstool