Just a few months after apparently exiting the betting industry, Barstool Sports could potentially enter a DraftKings marketing deal. This would return Barstool to wagering after its betting site Barstool Sportsbook shut down when founder Dave Portnoy purchased the brand back from Penn Entertainment.
ESPN Bet, the mobile betting app that replaced Barstool Sportsbook, has been successful since its initial launch in November of 2023.
Possible Deal With Barstool and DraftKings On The Way
It’s looking likely that Barstool Sports will return to the world of betting soon. According to Sportico, a potential deal between Barstool Sports and DraftKings is in the works. Rather than Barstool putting its name to a sports betting site, the deal will be a more traditional marketing partnership.
The partnership would reportedly last multiple years and is valued around eight figures annually. Barstool would then refer fans the the online sportsbook and highlight DraftKings Sportsbook odds.
Keep in mind that Barstool won’t be able to complete this type of partnership until the conclusion of the NFL season. This timeframe has to do with the separation between Penn Entertainment and Barstool founder Dave Portnoy in August 2023. This move gave Portnoy ownership of Barstool Sports again after it was purchased back from Penn Entertainment. Following that move, Penn Entertainment struck a deal with ESPN to roll out a sports betting site. If Portnoy sells Barstool Sports in the future, Penn Entertainment would receive 50% of gross proceeds.
DraftKings Eyeing Another Major Partnership
The potential Barstool deal would add another big partnership for DraftKings. The sports betting operator already has a wide range of deals with major sports teams across the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB, partnering with teams like the Boston Celtics, New York Giants, Chicago Cubs, and Chicago Blackhawks.
Plus, DraftKings has been very involved in the media landscape, with one example being DraftKings Network. The platform has been involved with popular shows like Gojo and Golic, All The Smoke, The Dan LeBatard Show With Stugotz, and Baseball Is Dead.
Additionally, DraftKings purchased the Vegas Stats & Information Network, also known as VSiN, in 2021. VSiN was founded by broadcaster Brent Musberger and fully launched in 2017, focusing on betting-focused sports content.
ESPN Bet Impresses As Barstool Sportsbook’s Successor
Penn Entertainment ended up reaching an agreement with ESPN that would allow for a new mobile betting app. With the deal, Penn Entertainment would pay ESPN $1.5 billion throughout ten years. Plus, ESPN would receive $500 million worth of warrants for around 31.8 million common Penn Entertainment shares.
On November 14, 2023, ESPN Bet officially launched. The new online betting app was basically a rebranding of the now-defunct Barstool Sportsbook, with minor aesthetic changes and similar promotions for existing users. Even though the platform has only been around for a short amount of time, ESPN Bet is off to a competitive start in the wagering market.
In its launch month of November, ESPN Bet ranked third in the state of Ohio in overall handle with $70.8 million. Considering the top two platforms were well-established sports betting operators with FanDuel and DraftKings, it appears that the new mobile betting app has started strong. This has been the case in Massachusetts as well, with ESPN Bet ranking third in handle when it comes to both November and December.