Interview With Social Media Manager At Barstool Sports

Interview With Social Media Manager At Barstool Sports

Jasper Nusbaum

I recently had the privilege of speaking with Kyle Gelling, a social media manager at Barstool Sports. Kyle played baseball at George Washington University before joining the MLB’s social media team. After working for the MLB for approximately three years, Kyle joined Barstool Sports. I asked Kyle about his role at Barstool and about company’s impact on the world.


1. How long have you worked at Barstool Sports and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?

I started with Barstool this past October. I’m a social media manager, so my day-to-day [responsibilities] consist of running multiple accounts, finding viral video content for all the programs, tracking video rights, and basically whatever else they need me to do in the moment.


2. You worked for the MLB before joining Barstool Sports, but your role at both organizations was in social media. How do the two experiences differ?

MLB is way more structured. It’s cool to say that you work for the league, but at the end of the day there isn’t any risk taking. That was my biggest reason for leaving [the MLB] after 3 years. If you don’t see growth in your personal skills and the challenge isn’t there then you need to move on.


3. What social media platforms does Barstool Sports use? Is the content and promotion strategy different for each platform? How and why?

We’re on all of the main platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat and Instagram.) Our biggest push right now is for YouTube. Most people wouldn’t consider it to be a social platform, but it’s huge and reaps big rewards when you start to build a following. As far as strategy goes, we’re constantly tweaking things to test out performance and see what’s working well. There’s another team that tracks all of the engagement though, I’m just on the content side.


4. Do you have a favorite barstool Instagram account and a favorite podcast?

My favorite account is our Main account (@barstoolsports) because it has a mix of everything. The blogs are still such a big part of what we do and that’s the best place for them (other than the app). [In terms of] Podcasts, I’d have to go with Pardon My Take and Lights, Camera, Barstool. I’m a huge movie buff and that’s definitely the place to get your fix. They give the common man’s review.


5. David Portnoy is the founder of Barstool Sports, and he is also the “face” of the brand. How would you describe him and what is it like working for his company?

He’s an innovator. He knows what moves the needle and he knows what our audience wants. This is by far the best job I’ve ever had. The office is very inclusive and people truly allow you to be creative in a way unlike anywhere I’ve been.


6. What are your thoughts on people claiming that barstool is misogynistic? How has the brand reacted to these claims? Have you changed your content or marketing as a result?

[This] couldn’t be farther from the truth. The women stand on the same level as the men in every way and there is zero tolerance for disrespect. Their ideas and opinions are always valued and they are given the space to expand the brand at large. One of the things that makes Barstool’s content so successful is that we don’t worry about the opinions of our critics. If we think it’s funny then we go for it.


7. What is your favorite part of working at barstool?

The best part about working for Barstool is that it never really feels like work. You’re trusted to complete your tasks and sent off to make a name for yourself. Everyone is motivated and it raises everyone else’s game to another level.