US – PENN Entertainment completes buy out of Barstool SportsBy Phil - 20 February 2023
PENN Entertainment has completed its previously announced acquisition of Barstool Sports, Inc. after previously acquiring a 36 per cent stake of Barstool Sports in February 2020. PENN has acquired the remaining interest in Barstool Sports for approximately $388m.
The closing of the acquisition marks a major milestone for Barstool Sports as it celebrates its 20th anniversary. Founded in 2003 as a free sports and gambling newspaper by Dave Portnoy, Barstool has evolved into a leading digital player in sports, lifestyle, and entertainment. With over 200 million loyal followers, the company creates and delivers unmatched sports and comedic content through its extensive network of over 100 shows and 90+ personalities. Its content offerings span podcasts, video, social media, live events, pay-per-view, and a growing commerce business, solidifying its position as a multimedia powerhouse.
Since partnering with Barstool Sports in 2020, PENN has successfully developed an omnichannel strategy that leverages Barstool’s well-known brand and personalities. Barstool Sportsbook has grown to become a leading online betting platform currently live in 15 states, with PENN also having launched retail branded Barstool Sportsbooks at its properties across the country. PENN and Barstool Sports will continue to innovate and collaborate, including across Barstool’s sports bar footprint, to deliver compelling integrated gaming and entertainment experiences.
“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.”
“Barstool Sports is bigger than ever and has become more than I ever dreamed of,” said Dave Portnoy, Founder of Barstool Sports. “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.”
“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.”
In the past three years since PENN first invested in the company, Barstool Sports has grown its audience 194 per cent and recorded total podcast downloads of 1.6bn and delivered over 875,000 videos across social media totaling over 128bn video views.
It has increased ad sales by 160 per cent and sold over 5 million units, including apparel, licensed products and accessories, by combining a direct-to-consumer approach and bringing the brand to thousands of retail stores nationwide.
It has expanded its live event programming, including producing and broadcasting its first Division I college basketball games (Barstool Sports Invitational) and the Barstool Arizona Bowl college football game and launched TwoYay, its proprietary NIL marketplace, connecting athletes to brands and agencies.
PENN and Barstool Sports initially announced an exclusive sports betting and iCasino partnership in January 2020, with PENN acquiring 36 per cent of Barstool Sports on 20 February 2020 for a total consideration of approximately $163m, comprised of approximately $135m in cash and $28m in non-voting convertible preferred stock. The initial agreement included a path for PENN to establish full control and ownership of Barstool Sports.