Barstool Sportsbook’s reputation plummets amid controversy
May 17th, 2023, Kineree Shah

Barstool Sportsbook’s reputation plummets amid controversy

In recent weeks, Barstool Sportsbook has found itself embroiled in controversy. The incident began with the firing of Barstool’s Ben Mintz, following a video in which he uttered a racial epithet. Subsequently, Barstool Sportsbook's founder, Dave Portnoy, vented his grievances on social media, sparking further coverage. In this piece, we take a deep dive into Barstool Sportsbook’s consumer perception using YouGov’s BrandIndex daily tracker. This tool continuously measures consumer sentiment across hundreds of sectors and thousands of brands, providing a quantifiable look at a company’s public image.

The fallout from the Barstool Sportsbook incident has been far-reaching. The brand’s reputation has taken a hit, and it has also seen a negative impact on the stock market. Amid this turmoil, there has been a clear shift in public sentiment towards the brand. This change is vividly illustrated by its Impression and Recommendation scores.

The Impression score, one of the 16 metrics of YouGov BrandIndex, measures whether a consumer has a positive or negative impression of a brand. On May 1, 2023, the Impression score for Barstool Sportsbook was 12.8 based on a two-week moving average. However, as the news of the controversy surrounding Portnoy's public comments and the associated corporate drama spread, the score fell to a negative 0.5, marking the lowest point in the measured period.

However, it seems that the damage may have now bottomed out, certainly in terms of Impression. Having hit this low it seems that perception is slowly improving but still has some way to go before getting back to the previous baseline above 15.

Recommendation scores, as determined by YouGov BrandIndex, measure whether consumers would recommend it to family or friends. On May 1 Barstool Sportsbook had a Recommendation score of 5.9 but as news of the incident spread the score started to fall and seems to have now started to recover after a low of -18.2 on May 12.

The Barstool Sportsbook case serves as a stark reminder of how public sentiment can quickly be impacted in response to controversies. YouGov’s always-on tracking will continue to monitor how Barstool Sportsbook's scores evolve. Will the brand manage to fully recover, or will the controversy continue to cast a shadow? Time – and YouGov BrandIndex – will tell.

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Methodology- YouGov BrandIndex collects data on thousands of brands every day. Barstool Sportsbook’s Impression score is based on the question: Which of the following brands do you have a generally POSITIVE/NEGATIVE feeling about? Recommendation score question: Which of the following brands would you RECOMMEND/tell a friend to AVOID? All questions are delivered as a net score between –100 and + 100. Scores are based on an average daily sample size of 100 among US adults between April 15 to May 14, 2023. Figures are based on a 2-week moving average. Learn more about BrandIndex.

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