Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Barstool Sports sponsorship deal with Mobile Alabama Bowl nixed

I didn't know that the folks behind the Port City's other post-season college football gathering had reached terms with Barstool Sports. If I had known that a deal was in the works, I'd have been saddened. Barstool is the kind of sports gossip site that makes Deadspin look as respectable as The New York Times.

I had learned earlier this month that LendingTree would replace Dollar General as the Bowl's corporate sponsor, but no mention was made at the time that Barstool was in the mix of potential candidates.

Then I saw this today at MyNBC15.com:
The founder of Barstool Sports says ESPN killed its deal with the Mobile, Alabama Bowl.

Sports Business Journal first reported the sports media giant was in talks to sponsor what is now the LendingTree Bowl.

The report from Mark J. Burns says the deal fell through due to pressure from the NCAA and ESPN, the channel airing the bowl.

The internet is filled with marvelous entertainment, news, commentary and humor websites. Barstool is not one of those. The site is basically what you'd get if you handed a website's credential keys to a bunch of 11-year old rich boys. A few of today's headlines:
  • A Robot Vacuum Carried Out An Act Of War When It Sucked Up A Little Dog In Missouri 
  • Dustin Johnson's Two Year Old Son Has A Better Golf Swing Than You (And Me, But You Too)
  • Latest Instagram Model Trend: Sunbathe Your Asshole
It's about 20% sports content, 20% boys' locker room humor and 60% 20-something eye candy. Everything that pre-pubescent boys dig and everything that's wrong with the R-rated internet.  ESPN and the NCAA would have done the City of Mobile a favor if the Bowl had inked a deal with the site and they rode in to send all the kids to timeout.

But also today, the Bowl's leadership flatly denied that the behemoth NCAA and ESPN applied pressure to kick the Barstool out:
“Untrue,” The LendingTree Bowl President Jerry Silverstein told AL.com on Tuesday in response to the report the deal fell apart because of pressure. “Untrue." ...

“We had a third-party contact with several companies. Barstool was one of them,” Silverstein said. “The Bowl decided to go with LendingTree. The NCAA nor ESPN got involved. (sic)

“The bowl made the decision. We had other opportunities that were there. The bowl made a decision not to choose Barstool. It never got to the NCAA or ESPN for denial. The bowl had other opportunities and went another way.”
So, it was Jerry Silverstein and the grown-ups with the Bowl who nixed the deal. Whew. That's a much better outcome than having the two organizations that are close to ruining college football be the unlikely saviors. In truth, neither would have cared much as long as the check cleared. Well, ESPN might have cared a little because the relationship between ESPN and Barstool is not cordial. But business is business, so...

We all know that if the Bowl had gone through with the Barstool deal, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson would have straightened his tie, smoothed his jacket and put the best spin on the budding relationship with a trashy internet website:
“We are pleased and proud to welcome Barstool Sports as the title sponsor for this year’s bowl game. College football is a cherished tradition in Mobile, and we are grateful to the team at Barstool and the bowl organizers for carrying that tradition forward. Visit barstoolsports.com for tickets and hilarious content.”
Tell me I'm wrong. 


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