As of February 17th, 2023, PENN Entertainment has completed its acquisition of Barstool Sports, a popular online sports betting website and brand that is active in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado, Virginia, New Jersey, Tennessee, Arizona, Iowa, West Virginia, Louisiana, and most recently, Maryland.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Barstool Sports fully into the PENN Entertainment family,” said PENN Entertainment CEO and President, Jay Snowden. “Barstool is a proven, powerful media brand with an authentic voice and vast, loyal audience that provides us with a strong top of funnel for new customer acquisition and organic cross-selling opportunities across our growing interactive division. Barstool, combined with theScore’s reach and highly engaged user base, creates a massive digital footprint and ecosystem that will serve to propel Barstool Sportsbook and our uniquely integrated media and gaming business. Further, the Barstool Sportsbook will greatly benefit from the upcoming migration to our proprietary technology stack, a move that will significantly enhance the overall product offering and deliver meaningful upside.”
The announcement arrived via a press release on PENN Entertainment’s official website. Barstool is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and the recent acquisition marks a milestone for the company and its founder, David Portnoy.
“Barstool Sports is bigger than ever and has become more than I ever dreamed of,” said Portnoy. “I’m very thankful to the Barstool team and Stoolies who have been along for the ride. I’m looking forward to this next chapter with PENN.”
PENN Entertainment and Barstool’s relationship first formed back in February 2020, when PENN Entertainment bought a 36% stake in Barstool for $163 million, with an agreement for PENN to purchase the remaining stake at a later time and gain full ownership and control. According to the press release, PENN Entertainment purchased the remaining stake for approximately $388 million.
What is Barstool?
Started in 2003 by Dave Portnoy as a free sports and gambling newspaper, Barstool has evolved to become a leading online sports betting website live in 15 US states, a retail branded sportsbook with locations across the company, and a collection of podcasts, videos, and social media outlets that deliver sports and entertainment media to over 200 million followers. Portnoy started sharing the 4-page sports newspaper in Boston at street corners and on subway platforms. Eventually, Portnoy began to gain some traction and in 2007, expanded to an online blog. Barstool has been gaining in popularity since PENN Entertainment first invested. According to PENN Entertainment, Barstool has increased its audience by 194% and podcast downloads to 1.6B, ad sales have gone up 160%, and the company has delivered over 875k videos across social media, totaling over 128 billion video views. Barstool has also hosted its first collegiate football game (the Barstool Arizona Bowl) and Division I college basketball games (Barstool Sports Invitational). Barstool has also created TwoYay, a direct athlete-brand marketing platform where companies can discover athletes who could be potential advertisers for their products.
“This is a huge moment for Barstool Sports that was made possible by a lot of people and a lot of grit,” said Erika Ayers, CEO of Barstool Sports. “Our focus has always been to create relevant and entertaining content for our fans and to deliver strong results for our partners. It’s exciting to have that vision recognized and to be able to put it to work inside of PENN. We have the best fan base on the planet, and we look forward to doing even more for them with PENN’s support.”
Mac Daniel is a writer for PlayOnlineCasino and PlayOnlineSportsBetting. He has experience writing about a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, tourism, non-profit organizations, and most recently casino and sportsbetting news. To check out more of his work, visit: playonlinemichigan.com