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Barstool CEO Erika Ayers plans to publish book ‘Nobody Cares About Your Career’

Thought Leader: Erika Ayers Badan
November 1, 2023

Barstool Sports CEO Erika Ayers Badan plans to release a book next summer titled “Nobody Cares About Your Career” — and it promises an inside account of what it’s like to work for the company’s notorious founder Dave Portnoy, The Post has learned.

When publisher Macmillan sends the book to shelves come June of next year, it will be three years in the making — and a culmination of the notes Ayers Baden has been jotting down on her phone during her hour-long daily commute from Connecticut to Barstool’s New York City headquarters.

Ayers Badan was stingy on details — and said even Portnoy hasn’t yet gotten his hands on a copy of the manuscript.

“Dave hasn’t read any of it yet,” Erika Ayers Badan told The Post in an exclusive interview. “To be fair, I haven’t totally finished yet. I’m finishing it this week.”

“When it publishes Dave — everybody — will have this,” she added of the Barstool staff, adding that she’s especially excited to show it to Barstool podcaster Brianna LaPaglia, known online as Brianna Chickenfry.

Ayers Badan said she began writing her book in the depths of the pandemic — which began just weeks after Penn National Gaming ponied up $163 million to buy the digital media company.

Prior to becoming Barstool’s first-ever CEO in 2015, Erika Ayers Badan held senior positions at Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL.

Nobody Cares About Your Career Book by Erika Ayers Badan
Barstool CEO Erika Ayers Badan is set to release a book titled “Nobody Cares About Your Career” in partnership with Macmillan Publishers in June 2024.

It has been a bumpy ride since, with the company announcing in August it was laying off nearly 25% of its staff, roughly 100 people.

That was weeks after Dave Portnoy bought Barstool back from Penn National for just $1.

Now, Ayers Badan says Barstool no longer has “guns, money and steel to rest on, which means that every decision we make — every dollar we spend — is really important,” Ayers Badan said.

As the company addresses the tricky challenges ahead, Ayers Badan said she will be applying lessons laid out in the book in chapters titled “Don’t Be an A–hole at Work,” “The Messy Stuff: Being Human, Getting Drunk, Sex, and Other Disaster Scenarios at Work” and “Feedback is a Gift, Feedforward is for Wimps.”

Dave and Erika Barstool Sports
Ayers Badan intertwined advice with anecdotes of her storied career, which began at Fidelity Investments in the late ’90s. She became Barstool’s first CEO in 2016.

“You think about ‘Nobody Cares About Your Career’ and it seems kind of negative. For me, it’s [that] nobody’s going to come help you at work,” said Ayers Badan.

But it’s still being a part of the decision-making that Ayers Badan says makes her book “very different.”

“I’m not on the sideline saying, ‘You should do this.’ I’m still doing it,” she told The Post. “Chaos is a ladder, and everything is very chaotic right now. That’s why a book like this matters — because most of the business books were written in a time before this.

“They’re not written from a place of somebody who’s struggling through it everyday. And I’m working through it. Every day at Barstool is arguably one of the craziest, most vulnerable environments on the internet possible. So I think that’s what makes [the book] interesting.”

Ayers Badan added that the book offers advice intertwined with anecdotes from her own career, including her first gig at Fidelity Investments, which she landed even though she “sucks at math.”

“When I was early in my career, you didn’t want to have any feelings. You got yelled at as much as possible, worked your a– off and hoped something slightly better than what you have now will happen.”

“Now, work is really different,” she continued. “How you feel about work, how you feel about yourself, what’s happening in the world plays a much bigger role in work. All the rules have also changed, like where you can work.”

There’s another chapter about “not being a big company person,” Ayers Badan said.

Ayers at Barstool Sports
Ayers Badan said that running Portnoy’s “pirate ship” is “arguably one of the craziest, most vulnerable environments on the internet possible. So I think that’s what makes [the book] interesting.”
“What even is a big company person? It’s the person who sends emails for the sake of sending emails, and going to meetings for the sake of wasting time and filling up hours of the day. Why do you want to be like that?”She also teased that there’s also tips about how to deal with “disaster scenarios,” like “being human and getting drunk,” or how “when your boss looks good, you look good.”Ultimately, “it’s hard to find a job whether you’re 22 or whether you’re 46. Then we spend the majority of our lives at work, why not make it great?”

“One of the chapters that I love says don’t stay at a job for the snacks. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met with over the last 20 years of my career who say, ‘I’m only at this job because they do my dry cleaning.’”

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