US online sportsbook DraftKings has announced a new multi-year partnership with Barstool Sports, the US sports-focused media company, to become its exclusive sports betting partner.
DraftKings and Barstool first partnered in 2014, but in February 2020, US betting firm PENN Entertainment acquired 36% of the online brand, and purchased the remaining 64% in February 2023 with the intent of making its own Barstool-branded sportsbook.
That idea never came to fruition, with Penn selling Barstool back to that site's founder Dave Portnoy for $1 in August 2023, reportedly writing off as much as $850 million in the process, in order to instead pair up with US TV giant ESPN to build a betting brand.
Under the terms of the sale, Barstool was saddled with a non-compete clause alongside “other restrictive covenants.” The non-compete reportedly lasted through to the end of American football’s NFL season, with the announcement of Barstool’s DraftKings sponsorship coinciding with the end of its Super Bowl season-ending game last night.
Now, Portnoy has stated on social media that the company is “back to our roots” with DraftKings, and has already begun promoting co-branded betting content and exclusive partner promotions on Barstool digital media channels, as well as his own personal social media accounts.
It has been reported that the partnership will continue as a more traditional promotional arrangement, as opposed to the foundation of a new Barstool-branded enterprise as had been planned under Penn.
The DraftKings announcement follows fellow US sportsbook BetMGM unveiling a new partnership with social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter).
Through the partnership, BetMGM branding and odds will be present on X, with X pages relating to sports fixtures set to feature links to BetMGM’s website and mobile app.
Adam Greenblatt, BetMGM chief executive, stated of the deal: “Being directly accessible within [X] is an unprecedented opportunity to expand our reach to a passionate and engaged audience. We look forward to adding intel and content that enhances the platform's interaction around sports."
BetMGM stated that the partnership will evolve over its course with more features set to come through the growing links between the two platforms.
In mid-December, BetMGM extended its partnership with ice-hockey's NHL.