Barstool Sports Has Strong Opening Weekend

Robert Musantry
Sports Business Editor

Barstool Sports is furthering their grip on the sports world after launching their own sports betting platform (Photo Courtesy of Variety)

The sports betting world has received a surprise entrant, as Barstool Sports, the sports media company, unveiled their new sportsbook. The legal sports betting world is still in its infancy, but the market is growing. In May of 2018, the US Supreme Court found the law that made sports betting illegal to be unconstitutional. New Jersey largely took the lead in creating a safe market for this type of betting, and since then eighteen other states have joined them in creating some level of legal sports betting. Twenty-two other states have made official inquiries into legalizing sports betting, leaving only nine states completely out of the game.

Barstool’s book opened on September 18th in Pennsylvania. In August of this year, New Jersey set a record high of $668 million in sports bets, while Pennsylvania had a state high of $365 million, so the timing is perfect for Barstool to enter a growing marketplace. Initial data showed that their app had 63,000 downloads in the first weekend it was available. In comparison, when DraftKings and FanDuel, the industry trendsetters, launched their apps, they only saw opening weekend download numbers of 4,000 and 9,000, respectively. So, by that measure, Barstool has seen quite a healthy launch.

Erika Nardini, CEO of Barstool, said when talking about the current sports betting market and how their company will compete, “The sports betting partnerships with media companies, those center around TV, those audiences are old and the partnerships are stale in terms of the format and expression of the brand. In our case, our content is the marketing. The way we talk to our fans, the way we connect. The way we make things fun. We have an appeal to the 21-plus audience in a way no one else has.”

According to Barstool’s own research, their company reaches 66 million users. They have found that around 62% of them bet on sports. They would seem to have the perfect consumer base for a new sportsbook, and the initial data has supported that fact.


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