With historic changes to college football’s landscape on the way, Barstool Sports is entering the fray.
Digital media company Barstool Sports on Tuesday announced a multi-year sponsorship, along with broadcasting rights on all its channels, for the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl in Tucson. The game, to be played on Dec. 31, will feature teams from the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and the Mountain West Conference (MWC).
“Today is one small step for man. … Yes I am proud to announce that Barstool Sports is the new sponsor of the Arizona Bowl not only for this year, but for the foreseeable future,” Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports, said on an Instagram post and website announcement Tuesday afternoon. “While obviously sponsoring a bowl game is a big deal in itself, we aren’t simply slapping our name on this and running away.
”We also have exclusive broadcasting rights meaning the game will air only on Barstool Sports channels on New Years’ Eve Day with Barstool personalities fully immersed in the broadcast. It is a true partnership with the Arizona Bowl, the MAC, and the Mountain West Conference.”
Bowl executive director Kym Adair says the partnership with Barstool is an ideal strategic fit with the “soul of our bowl.”
“This game-changing partnership with Barstool Sports will literally change the landscape of the bowl for years to come, connecting our history of leading-edge innovation that showcases the grand traditions of football to Barstool’s unmatched creative content power and streaming services,” Adair said in a news release. “We believe this exciting new partnership is on the forefront of sports broadcasting today which affirms our leadership on the college bowl game landscape.”
CBS Sports had been the broadcasting partner for the bowl game.
Last week, Barstool Sportsbook announced a new multi-year agreement with NASCAR to become the exclusive sportsbook of Phoenix Raceway. The announcement marked the ninth sports betting partnership in Arizona.
Emergency Press Conference - Introducing The Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl pic.twitter.com/UWo31snw60— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) July 27, 2021
AZ Sports Betting on the Way
Arizona sports betting apps are targeted to launch in time for the start of Arizona NFL betting on Sept. 9. An updated timeline for the AZ sports betting launch was released this week.
In April, Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law legislation and a compact with the state’s tribes that significantly expanded Arizona sports betting. Under the new AZ sports betting law, wagering on college games involving Arizona-based teams is allowed. College prop bets on individual performances are not permitted.
'Full Barstool Treatment'
In the sixth edition of the Arizona Bowl last year, Ball State defeated 19th-ranked San Jose State, 34-13, as Ball State safety Bryce Cosby was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
“This marks our first real foray into acquiring TV sports rights. We plan on giving the Arizona Bowl the full Barstool treatment,” Portnoy said in his post. “An entire week of Barstool Bowl festivities in Tucson leading up to the game making this one of the unique and anticipated bowls in the country, all while maintaining the integrity of the game and raising a ton of money for charity.
”I’ve said many times that our ambitions at Barstool is to own the moon. This is a major breakthrough in that regard.”
In January 2020, Penn National Gaming paid $163 million to buy a 36% equity stake in Barstool Sports.