Erika Nardini Adds WWE Board Member to Her List of Accomplishments
On January 7, 2016, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy announced that he was selling 51% of his business to The Chernin Group. A few months later, Barstool announced Erika Nardini was their newest CEO, and the former Boston sports and gambling newspaper was moving its headquarters to New York City.
Erika Nardini was most recently the Chief Marketing Officer at AOL and had no experience in the sports world before taking the job at Barstool. However, this did not hinder Barstool's exponential growth. So far during her career at Barstool Sports, the company has grown to a $450 million valuation after its most recent round of investment by Penn National Gaming. Barstool has over 1,500 social media accounts, the top sports podcast (Pardon My Take), a channel on Sirius XM Radio, and, most recently, an online sportsbook.
On October 5, the WWE elected Nardini to its Board of Directors, making her the 3rd woman on the board joining Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon and Laureen Ong, the former president of the Travel Channel. The WWE has faced a turbulent 2020 as its stock is down 40% and WWE Network subscribers have been down dramatically. Also, in January, co-presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson resigned their positions immediately, a surprise to the company, and left the WWE searching for new leadership and ideas. WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon feel Nardini is the perfect woman to right the ship stating Erika is a “seasoned executive with a tremendous track record of building businesses.”
The WWE’s appointment of Erika Nardini illustrates the broader revelation that women are slowly but surely making their presence felt in the sports world. This industry is notorious for being a “boys club,” and still is in many ways, but it's clear powerful and ambitious women like Erika Nardini are willing to break down barriers for the next generations.