Jan 22, 2022; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy towards the student section prior to the game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida State Seminoles at Watsco Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports Jan 22, 2022; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy towards the student section prior to the game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida State Seminoles at Watsco Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

In July 2021, Dave Portnoy, founder and CEO of Barstool Sports, launched the Barstool Athlete Program. A year and a half later, he unveiled a new platform, TwoYay, designed to directly connect athletes with brands for endorsement deals. Portnoy emphasized Barstool’s commitment to supporting college athletes in the NIL era by not taking any commission from these deals, highlighting their pledge to empower athletes financially without taking a cut.

However, after just 18 months, Barstool Sports announced the shuttering of the TwoYay Marketplace.

Here is part of the statement from Friday’s announcement, as shared by Matt Brown on Twitter/X:

It is with a mix of emotions that we announce the closure of TwoYay Marketplace, effective March 31st, 2024.

We launched TwoYay with a mission to connect athletes with advertisers, and we’ve been truly inspired by the connections and opportunities we’ve helped facilitate between our talented athletes and brands. However, the rapidly evolving NIL landscape is demanding and unpredictable; we no longer wish to operate under such uncertainty. While this was a difficult decision, we believe it is the most responsible one to ensure a positive experience for you in the long run.

We understand this news may be disappointing, and we apologize for any inconvenience it may cause. We are committed to ensuring a smooth transition for all our users.

Prior to her resignation as CEO, Erika Ayers Badan outlined plans for TwoYay to eventually expand beyond athletes. She envisioned it as a platform for “any creator with a social following,” essentially encompassing all types of influencers. While Barstool launched with a focus on athletes, TwoYay’s future aimed to be more inclusive.

While the two aren’t directly related, TwoYay’s closure¬†coincides with Barstool Sports potentially pulling the plug on their Arizona Bowl sponsorship. Barstool personality Dan Katz indicated it might be the end of their involvement, stating, “It was a lot of fun doing it, but unless the financials drastically change, that’s probably it.”

Barstool Sports isn’t slowing down. They’ve recently announced collaborations with the video platform Rumble and DraftKings. This comes after a period of significant change, including Portnoy reacquiring the company from Penn Entertainment for just $1 and Friday’s closure of TwoYay. These moves suggest the company is charting a new course for the future.

[Matt Brown on Twitter/X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.