PENN Entertainment now owns 100% of Barstool Sports

PENN Entertainment Inc. has completed its previously announced acquisition of Barstool Sports Inc., obtaining the remaining interest in Barstool Sports for an estimated $388 million.

In January 2020, Wyomissing-based PENN Entertainment — then known as Penn National Gaming Inc. — acquired a 36% stake in Barstool for $163 million, following an announcement by the two companies of an exclusive sports betting and iCasino partnership. That initial agreement included a path for PENN to establish full control and ownership of Barstool Sports.

“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,” Jay Snowden, PENN Entertainment CEO and president, said in a Feb. 17 statement welcoming Barstool Sports fully into PENN Entertainment.

“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,” Snowden said.

The closing of the acquisition marks a major milestone for Barstool Sports, according to the release. Founded by David Portnoy in 2003 as a free sports and gambling newspaper, Barstool Sports has since grown into a company with more than 200 million followers.

The company creates and delivers sports and comedic content through its network of more than 100 shows and more than 90 personalities — content that includes podcasts, video, social media, live events, pay-per-view and a growing commerce business.

Since its relationship with Barstool began in 2020, PENN has developed “an omnichannel strategy that leverages Barstool’s well-known brand and personalities,” the release stated. PENN has launched retail branded Sportsbooks at its properties across the country, with Barstool Sportsbook growing to become a leading online betting platform in 15 states.

“Barstool Sports is bigger than ever and has become more than I ever dreamed of,” Portnoy said in a statement. “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.”

Since PENN first invested in the company, Barstool Sports has grown its audience 194%; recorded total podcast downloads of 1.6 billion; increased sales by 160%; delivered more than 875,000 videos across social media totaling more than 128 billion video views, according to the release. In addition, Barstool has sold more than 5 million units that have included clothing, licensed products and accessories by combining a direct-to-consumer approach with taking the brand to retail locations across the country.

“This is a huge moment for Barstool Sports that was made possible by a lot of people and a lot of grit,” Erika Ayers, CEO of Barstool Sports, said in the statement. “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.”

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