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Case Study

Barstool Sports

Barstool Sports knows how to build an audience with their hit podcasts and viral videos. Hawke Media stepped in with a paid search strategy to convert more of that audience to buyers on their site store.

Barstool Sports photo

Barstool Sports needed to grow revenue from their online store, which focuses on apparel. Despite high readership on their blog, sales of clothing and accessories consistently underperformed. Furthermore, the company’s existing paid search program had seen diminishing returns for some time.

Hawke Media was asked to get the return on advertising spend (ROAS) for paid search to 500% for their online store.



Hawke Media took a three-pronged approach to improve Barstool’s paid search strategy. First, we focused on funneling blog readers into purchasers with all Google campaign types including YouTube, Gmail, search, display, Shopping, and Discovery. Next, we analyzed the existing overlap between the store and blog users. This helped create personas for a target audience, rather than blasting ads to anyone who engages with any aspect of the Barstool empire. Last, once a baseline was established, we used an “Alpha Beta” campaign structure to gradually increase efficiency without taking unnecessary risks.

Paid Search

Hawke Media scaled Barstool’s paid search campaigns with a unique approach that ended the diminishing returns. This increased efficiency and revenue. Over a multi-year campaign, Hawke didn’t just help Barstool get their paid search campaign back on track, but helped fans bring the brand into their homes.

Barstool Sports results