Barstool Announces Sports Betting Partnership With DraftKing

Feb 16, 2024

Betting Partnership With DraftKing

In the world of sports, many different variables come into play to make it happen. For instance, we have sports media and entertainment, which is vital for keeping the spirits of the sport alive and the buzz circulating, and we have betting as the main artery of sports.

But what if you combine media entertainment and betting?

Well, that sounds like the ultimate combo, but you are not the first to think of this option. Popular outdoor game media and entertainment company Barstool Sports announced they are partnering with DraftKing, the giants in the industry.

This isn’t their first partnership, but it is the one that promises great things for both parties. Let’s examine this deal and find out what we can expect from this partnership in the future.

The Partnership

DraftKings, a US online platform, has announced a new multi-year agreement with Barstool, a US sports-focused media firm, to become its exclusive gambling partner.

Never heard of DraftKings? Check out this detailed review here: 

Both of these companies began to collaborate in 2014. Still, in February 2020, US betting business PENN Entertainment purchased 36% of the web brand and the remaining 64% in February 2023 to launch its Barstool-branded sportsbook.

That proposal was never realized, as Penn sold Barstool back to the site’s creator Dave Portnoy for $1 in August 2023, allegedly writing down up to $850 million in the process, to instead partner with US TV behemoth ESPN to establish a betting brand.

Less than an hour after the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, Barstool owner Dave Portnoy announced the agreement on Twitter via video.

“We’re back to our roots,” Portnoy said in his social media post. “[DraftKings] is once again the exclusive betting partner of Barstool Sports.”

The deal represents the two parties’ second collaboration. DraftKings and Barstool previously collaborated on a marketing campaign 10 years ago.


Interesting Fact: The above graphical representation shows the decrease in the customer acquisition cost of DraftKings. The number of users has increased since many states have legalized sports betting. 

What to Expect?

To start the relationship, Portnoy stated that he and other Barstool characters would host a live free throw contest on Monday, along with a DraftKings fantasy tournament with $100,000 in prizes. 

The contest will use a social media structure that this platform and others have lately popularized–athletic challenges that may take hours or days to finish, televised live for fans, and layered such that people watching can win money based on the results.

Barstool’s founding narrative includes betting, so we shouldn’t be surprised. The enterprise began in 2003 with a free monthly wagering and fantasy leaflet sent by Portnoy. 

Gambling advice and picks continue to be a vital component of this platform’s programming, but there has been no sponsor to mention in recent months, and the brand has not reaped the benefits of steering its audience to a specific sportsbook. 

Portnoy’s video announcing the DraftKings acquisition referenced the two firms’ prior cooperation, which was formed a decade ago.

How Will They Both Benefit From This Partnership?

Well, since Barstool is a media company with a huge following and DraftKings is a sports betting company, you might get the idea of how this partnership is going to work.

Usually, when sportsbooks partner with media companies, they agree to give a percentage or some amount of money in return for every new customer that the media company brings. And it’s the same case with Barstool and DraftKings.

Last month, Sportico claimed that the two parties were close to finalizing a traditional marketing collaboration. According to Sportico, there will be no Barstool-branded sportsbooks, but it will promote DraftKings odds and gain from consumers who are directed to the sportsbooks.

One key factor why people love the DraftKings platform is because of its versatility. DraftKings offers games like football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, and even eSports to the players. 

How Did We Get Here?

The deal came just a few months after Portnoy reclaimed the Barstool brand from Penn Entertainment. Penn bought the brand in 2020 and operated sportsbooks under its moniker.

This came to an end in August when Penn formed a relationship with ESPN. After years of conjecture, Disney-owned ESPN has entered the sports betting market. However, it also marked the end of the Penn-Barstool partnership.

Penn agreed to return the Barstool brand to Portnoy for $1 “in exchange for certain non-compete and other restrictive covenants”. Portnoy is now once again the owner of the business he founded.

Coincidentally, Penn’s existing Barstool sportsbooks debuted under the new ESPN Bet name on November 14.

Final Words

Overall, this is a good thing for the sports betting industry, as now we will have more lively action, especially on Barstool. 

Let’s just hope that money won’t get in their heads to the point that they will ruin the quality of their sporting content just to promote DraftKings.

After all, that’s the only reason why Barstool became so popular, and a deal like this can break that trust if not done right.