Dave Portnoy, the owner of Barstool Sports, started a fantastic charity in the wake of coronavirus: the Barstool Fund. Now, he’s collecting more for small businesses than ever before. Even mega-celebrities like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Guy Fieri, and more are getting in on the action!
Starting The Barstool Fund
How did Dave Portnoy end up founding the Barstool Fund? Well, believe it or not, it all started with a bet on Twitter! On December 11, 2020, the Barstool Sports CEO decried the government’s closing down businesses without a financial plan in place. “The right to earn a livelihood is being stolen by a few politicians,” he said. Soon, Portnoy received a response from The Profit host Marcus Lemonis. “Put your money where your mouth is,” he wrote. The Barstool Sports founder didn’t ignore the insult, taking it in stride. More than stride, actually! “I’ll put up 500k if you match it to create a relief fund for NYC area restaurants,” Portnoy wrote, creating what would soon be known as the Barstool Fund.
How does it work? Well, once approved by the Fund, a business that joins receives monthly donations of anywhere between $5,000 and $50,000. If they need more, Portnoy says they just need to ask, unlike the federal government’s coronavirus support program. And, believe it or not, the cash arrives in their account in under 72 hours! As of this writing, the Fund has helped over 150 businesses. Incredible!
Meanwhile, Portnoy does not fear a day when the Fund runs low on, well, funds! “If the fund runs low, I’ll go to big donors, or talk about it on social media and it will explode,” he said. It’s already exploded, in fact! There are many who want to get in on helping the Barstool Fund, including some big celebrities…
Every Donation Counts
Since the launch of the Barstool Fund, Portnoy has received some serious attention from some of the biggest stars in the world. It all started when legendary quarterback Tom Brady decided to help out the Fund in a big way. “This is awesome Dave. Count me in,” Brady wrote on Twitter. While Brady never said the exact amount he donated, the co-host of the top-rated Barstool Sports podcast Pardon My Take, “Big Cat,” mentioned that the football star donated $200,000. That’s right!
After Brady donated, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers also joined in on the feel-good fun, donating $500,000. He even worked with the Fund, calling a business from his hometown of Chico, California, and telling them Portnoy had approved them! When Burger Hut’s Erin and Rick Kusie received a video call, you can just imagine their surprise! “I was pumped, because I’ve been going to Burger Hut for years. Every time I come back into town, I’ve got to stop by …” Rodgers said. “What Dave and his people have been doing is unbelievable. I’m so excited to be able to be on this call.”
Help From A-List Celebs
It’s not only sports stars getting in on the fun, though. Musician Kid Rock also decided to help out, donating $100,000 to the Barstool Fund. As the owner of a restaurant and a few businesses, Kid Rock knows how hard people have been hit by the pandemic. So, on Twitter, the rocker asked for anyone who could donate to the Fund to follow his lead.
One of the most outstanding figures during this pandemic outbreak remains Guy Fieri! After raising over a whopping $22 million for restaurant workers with his Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, he also supported the Barstool Fund. “What we did at the beginning was getting money directly to the employees, they’re the ones that needed it at that time,” Fieri said. “Dave’s seeing the next level of this and that is these small businesses that were successful in doing good and operating and taking care of their community, when this [pandemic] has hit, the second, third round of COVID, they need some support.”