Jesse Saivar

Chair, Intellectual Property & Technology
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Greenberg Glusker Represented Barstool Sports in its Exclusive Sports Betting and Gaming Partnership with Penn National Gaming

January 31, 2020Press Release

(LOS ANGELES) January 31, 2020 - Greenberg Glusker LLP represented Barstool Sports, Inc. (“Barstool”), one of the country’s fastest-growing digital media companies, in its exclusive sports betting and gaming partnership with Penn National Gaming, Inc. (“Penn National”), a publicly-traded gaming company. The deal was announced on January 29, 2020.  Representing Barstool were Greenberg Glusker Partners Katy Spillers and Jesse Saivar with assistance from firm counsel Eric Perlmutter-Gumbiner and associate Benjamin Helfman.

According to the official announcement, Penn National will acquire a 36% interest in Barstool Sports, Inc. for approximately $163 million in cash and convertible preferred stock. After three years, Penn National will increase its ownership to approximately 50% with an incremental investment of approximately $62 million, and will thereafter have a right to acquire a controlling interest in Barstool.  Penn National will also be Barstool Sports’ exclusive gaming partner for up to 40 years and have the sole right to utilize the Barstool Sports brand for all of the Company’s online and retail sports betting and gaming products.

The deal is significant because it involves the first major transaction between a media company and gaming company since the Supreme Court essentially legalized sports betting in 2018.

“Jesse and I have had the pleasure of representing Barstool for the past several years throughout its meteoric rise,” said Katy Spillers, “We are extremely proud to have been able to assist Barstool in a deal that represents a return on many years of hard work and the refusal to be anything but an authentic brand.”

In what began in 2003 as a self-published newsletter written and personally handed out by its founder David Portnoy, Barstool Sports is now once of the fastest-growing, most successful digital content platforms in the country, publishing and distributing blogs, podcasts (including 2 of the 10 top podcasts in the U.S.), radio programs, and video and social content, supported by nearly 66 million monthly unique users and 70 dedicated personalities.  In 2019, Barstool Sports grew by approximately 65%, delivering nearly $100 million in revenue from digital and audio advertising, ecommerce, events, licensing and subscription.

Penn National Gaming owns, operates or has ownership interests in gaming and racing facilities and video gaming terminal operations with a focus on slot machine entertainment. The Company operates 41 facilities in 19 jurisdictions. In total, Penn National Gaming’s facilities feature approximately 50,500 gaming machines, 1,300 table games, and 8,800 hotel rooms. The Company also offers social online gaming through Penn Interactive and has a leading customer loyalty program with over five million active customers.

Greenberg Glusker LLP handles all of Barstool’s day-to-day transactional matters including its talent deals, content distribution arrangements, branded content agreements, merchandising transactions, IP licensing, backend technology agreements, and its large trademark portfolio.  In addition, Greenberg Glusker is Barstool’s principal litigation firm, handling or overseeing numerous disputes, including IP infringement suits, a dispute before the NLRB, and an on-going breach of contract and defamation suit in Federal court.

View full coverage of the deal on:

  • Vox Media
  • Forbes
  • The Deal
  • Law360 (subscription required)