Barstool Sports is set to resume its operations half a year after Penn Entertainment sold the company, opting for a new partner in ESPN, leading to the creation of the brand ESPN Bet.
Sportico reports that Barstool Sports is close to a marketing deal with DraftKings, under which Barstool will promote the partner’s betting line and benefit from customer acquisition.
The deal may be officially finalized after the Super Bowl in February, as Barstool has an agreement with Penn that requires the bookmaker to share 50% of revenue if it resumes operations within six months of the sale.
Penn Entertainment spent $588 million to acquire Barstool Sports in 2020 and sold it back to founder Dave Portnoy for a symbolic $1. Last fall, a new bookmaker brand, ESPN Bet, was launched on the Barstool infrastructure.
While it’s somewhat surprising that Barstool’s non-competition agreement with Penn seems to be only for six months, it aligns with the decision of the bookmaker to sell the company back to Portnoy for just $1, despite the initial purchase price of over $550 million. It will be interesting to see how prominently DraftKings will feature Barstool content in its app as a result of the deal and whether it will ultimately lead to the broadcasting of any Barstool content on the DraftKings network.