Penn National Buys Barstool Sports Stake for $163M

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Penn National Gaming has bought a minority stake in Barstool Sports for $163 million. In the agreement, Penn National will be the digital sports media site’s exclusive partner for 40 years. The gaming company will also have the sole rights to Barstool’s branding for online and in-person sports betting.

The deal was announced Wednesday morning.

“With its leading digital content, well-known brand and deep roots in sports betting, Barstool Sports is the ideal partner for Penn National and will enable us to attract a new, younger demographic, which will nicely complement our existing customer database,” said Penn National President and CEO Jay Snowden in a statement.

Penn National will acquire a 36% stake in the company. After three years, that will increase to 50% with an incremental investment of $62 million. Following the transaction, The Chernin Group will own 36% of Barstool, with employees owning the remaining 28%.

“This opportunity is a dream of mine and why I started Barstool Sports in the first place,” said founder Dave Portnoy. “Barstool Sports has a deep sports and gaming history and from the moment we met Jay and the Penn National team we knew this could be an exciting and game changing partnership and we can’t wait to get started. I think with our shared vision and goals, we are uniquely positioned to be a leader in this business.”

Barstool Sports digital presence reaches 66 million unique monthly visitors.

“Our team is excited to begin collaborating with Barstool Sports on ways to utilize its key talent and leading content to drive audiences to Penn National’s online gaming products and retail locations, as well as to special events and fan experiences,” said Jon Kaplowitz, head of Penn Interactive.

In September, Barstool Sports launched sister site Barstool Bets to provide sports gambling news and free sports-betting games.

The site is known for its “Saturdays are for the boys” slogan and Howard Stern-esque humor. In 2017, Portnoy brought its college football gameday show to MVR for coverage of the Youngstown State-North Dakota State game. Last year, Barstool had revenue of nearly $100 million from advertising, e-commerce, events, licensing and subscriptions.

Penn National operates 41 sites nationwide, including Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, with a combined 50,500 gaming machines, 1,300 game tables and 8,800 hotel rooms.

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.