Barstool Sports logo
Source: Barstool Sports Twitter

How to Invest in Barstool Sports Even Though It's a Private Company

Kathryn Underwood - Author

Jul. 2 2021, Published 12:18 p.m. ET

Barstool Sports was founded by celebrity entrepreneur Dave Portnoy. The company features a blog focused on sports and pop culture as well as several other media ventures in the sports and gaming industry.

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The company doesn't have stock that retail investors can buy outright since it isn't publicly traded at this time. However, someone who wants to own a piece of Barstool Sports could invest in the publicly traded company that holds a significant stake in Barstool Sports as of 2020.

What is Barstool Sports?

Barstool Sports has been around since Portnoy founding it in 2003. The platform includes a wide range of digital sports, entertainment, and media. About 100 shows are part of its regular lineup including Barstool Rundown, Pizza Reviews, Stool Streams, Barstool vs. America, and Barstool Finance. 

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Dave Portnoy
Source: Getty

The head of Barstool Sports is its CEO Erika Nardini. Forbes recently said, “Smart, determined and fearless, she is the visionary who has grown a small collection of misfit bloggers into a multi-faceted company with its hands in content, booze, gambling and much more.”

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Dave Portnoy's Twitter suspension

Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, has made a name for himself in the media. Earlier in 2021, he publicly criticized Robinhood founder Vlad Tenev. Portnoy told Tenev that by limiting trades during the GameStop frenzy, he benefited the big investors. “That is the exact opposite of helping the little guy. You killed the little guy.”

Last month, Portnoy was suspended from the Twitter platform, where he has around 2.5 million followers. Twitter said that he violated the platform's rules and got a suspension.

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After a few hours and huge internet backlash with the trending hashtag #FreeDavePortnoy, the entrepreneur’s account was reinstated.

Barstool Sports and Penn National Gaming, Inc.

In early 2020, Penn National Gaming, Inc. announced that it was going to acquire a 36 percent stake in Barstool Sports. The deal, announced in January and completed in February, gave Penn National its share in Barstool at a $163 million price. The breakdown of the transaction was $135 million in cash and $28 million in non-voting convertible preferred stock.

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Penn National Gaming and Barstool Sports logos
Source: Penn National Gaming Facebook

Penn National Gaming, Inc. is a publicly traded company listed on the Nasdaq Exchange under the ticker symbol "PENN." The transaction gave Penn National exclusive gaming partnership rights along with the sole right to utilize the Barstool Sports brand for all of its online and retail sports betting and iCasino products.

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According to Money Morning, online sports betting is expected to grow by 150 percent in the next decade, which makes Barstool Sports a good investment for Penn National. One of Barstool’s competitors is DraftKings.

How to invest in Barstool Sports

Again, Barstool Sports on its own isn’t a publicly traded firm, so you can’t directly buy shares of Barstool on the NYSE or Nasdaq. However, if you’re interested in its business model and want to invest in the company indirectly, Penn National Gaming is on the stock market.

Investors can buy shares of PENN via their regular brokerage. Penn National has a 36 percent stake currently that's expected to rise to 50 percent by 2023, according to the 2020 ownership transaction deal. 


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