The WWE says that Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini has been elected to its corporate board of directors.
Nardini joined Barstool in 2016 and has led the company — founded by Dave Portnoy — amid explosive growth, culminating in a deal earlier this year to sell a significant stake to casino gaming firm Penn National. That deal, which valued Barstool at $450 million, gives Penn National the option to take a majority stake in the company in the next couple of years.
In a statement, WWE chairman and EO Vince McMahon suggested that the company hopes to leverage Nardini’s experience reaching younger male consumers to help bolster its business.
“Erika is a seasoned executive with a tremendous track record of building businesses, developing experiences, and engaging different audiences across the media ecosystem,” said McMahon in a statement. “Her entrepreneurial spirit, business acumen and understanding of today’s consumers will serve as a perfect addition to our Board of Directors.”
The addition of Nardini to the company’s follows a year of significant change for the WWE. The company ousted its co-presidents in January, with McMahon running day-to-day operations until Nick Khan was named WWE president in August.
The company has also been hit hard by the novel coronavirus pandemic, with its live event ticket sales and merchandise sales cratering due to COVID-19 restrictions. That being said, newly negotiated TV deals (which Khan negotiated for the company when he was at CAA) have given the company liquidity despite the uncertainty.