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The Speed of Culture Podcast: How Failing Fast Drives Success

Speed of Culture Podcast with Erika Ayers Badan
Thought Leader: Erika Ayers Badan
June 20, 2023

Erika Ayers, CEO of Barstool Sports, joins Suzy Founder and CEO Matt Britton on the latest episode of The Speed of Culture podcast in collaboration with Adweek. Erika reveals the essential elements for achieving successful company expansion and scaling its culture, along with insights into the evolving media landscape.

1. Erica shares her journey in the media and tech industry, from her passion for brands to her interest in using technology to create valuable consumer experiences.

2. Erika Ayers became CEO of Barstool Sports by beating out 74 male applicants, showcasing her love for the company and her desire for the job, as Barstool Sports gained a cult following by not caring about others’ opinions and focusing on making people laugh, which resonated with the speaker who wanted to work for them, and failing and constantly putting yourself out there gives you the confidence, competence, and self-assurance to succeed, even if you’ve never been in a certain role before.

3. Don’t wait for permission, make scary decisions, and do what’s right for you; Barstool Sports scaled from 12 to 400 employees while maintaining a non-corporate feel by hiring curious and motivated individuals.

4. Barstool Sports succeeded by being adaptable and frugal, while Vice and BuzzFeed failed due to overspending; in the media and content business, it is crucial to embrace change and avoid clinging to outdated methods for growth and progress.

5. Barstool Sports is a unique and successful company that combines creator and media elements, leveraging individual talent and brand loyalty in a fragmented media landscape, with a focus on authenticity and creativity that cannot be replaced by AI.

6. Barstool Sports has successfully adapted to societal changes and regulations, authentically connecting with their audience and effectively promoting their brand, leading to their success in launching an online gaming platform.

7. The future of the Creator Universe is a battle for attention, with Barstool Sports aiming to expand into live sports and become a major consumer products company, while emphasizing the importance of taking risks, learning from experiences, and being open to feedback in order to achieve career goals in today’s digital age.

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