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The Athletic Receives Another Major Investment

“Fischer’s report states the newly acquired Series D round of investments brings The Athletic’s value estimation to $500 million.”

Brandon Contes

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The Athletic received another investment boost, something that’s happened a lot in recent years. According to Sara Fischer of Axios, the latest round of funds secured by The Athletic is for $50 million, bringing their total amount raised since 2016 to $139.5 million.

Last year, The Athletic completed their Series C round of fundraising, acquiring $21.8 million in May. Typically, a Series C round of investments would mark the last for a company, but the additional $50 million signals The Athletic felt one more influx was necessary.

Fischer’s report states the newly acquired Series D round of investments brings The Athletic’s value estimation to $500 million. The new funding is led by Bedrock Capital, which is not a first-time investor in The Athletic. Bedrock Capital’s investment is joined by Emerson Collective and Powerhouse Capital. Other existing investors participating in the Series D round of fundraising includes Matthew McConaughey and Founders Fund.

“The success of The Athletic has so far played a very strong role in bending the narrative of ad-supported media business models to subscription-based models, which are much more aligned with what benefits the end customer,” Bedrock founder and managing partners Eric Stromberg told Axios.

Last summer, it was reported The Athletic was at 500,000 subscribers, with goals of reaching 1 million by year’s end. That number has not been reached, but it should still happen soon. 

According to Stromberg, The Athletic also expects to be profitable next year because the platform no longer needs to spend a lot of money recruiting new subscribers. With over 500 full-time employees, many of them are writers who promote their work on social media, generating attention and new subscribers just as paid ads would.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here

Sports Online

NASCAR Driver Denny Hamlin Launching Podcast with Dale Earnhardt Jr & Dirty Mo Media

“New episodes will be published each Monday during the NASCAR season with previews and reviews of races, with the goal of inviting guests and interacting with fans playing a future role in the series.”

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Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Dirty Mo Media has announced a podcast deal with NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin will host Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin on a weekly basis during the NASCAR season. The Actions Detrimental branding is verbiage used by NASCAR for fines assessed to drivers for their disparaging comments about the sport. Known as one of NASCAR’s more outspoken drivers, Hamlin has been fined several times under the “actions detrimental to stock car racing” statutes.

New episodes will be published each Monday during the NASCAR season with previews and reviews of races, with the goal of inviting guests and interacting with fans playing a future role in the series.

Denny Hamlin jokingly thanked Dirty Mo Media for the “opportunity and the fat check” the company wrote for him to host the podcast in a Twitter announcement.

The 42-year-old Hamlin has won 48 races during his 18-year NASCAR Cup Series career. In addition to serving as a driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, he co-owns 23XI Racing with basketball legend Michael Jordan.

The podcast is the latest in an expansion of content produced by the Mooresville, North Carolina-based digital outlet. After beginning with The Dale Jr. Download, the company has grown to include other podcasts like Door, Bumper, Clear, and Speed Street, as well as video projects like The Next Level.

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Sports Online

Barstool Sports CEO: Golf Likely Next Step For Company’s Live Broadcasts

“I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love.”

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Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini recently did a wide-ranging interview with AdAge.com about the future of the digital sports outlet’s television aspirations, and she said sports they’re familiar with will take priority.

“”We want sports that appeal to a broad audience. We’re kind of tickled to be able to broadcast things in the first place. So I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love, whether it’s basketball and football,” Nardini said. “You could definitely see that extended to golf, that would probably be the next place that we’ll play.”

The questions about Barstool’s future aspirations come after the company’s successful first broadcast of the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl. Barstool says the broadcast received nearly 1 million views, peaking at 130,000 concurrent viewers. The outlet also broadcasted the Barstool Sports Invitational that featured Akron, Mississippi State, Toledo, and UAB in November.

Nardini added that the company is interested live televised sports for a few reasons.

“We’re owned by a sports betting company and the more we think about building our sports platform, there’s obviously a huge opportunity for us to convey a whole bunch of offerings to our audience, but certainly betting will be one of them…I think that live sports on television is the last man standing where it’s all anyone tunes in for.”

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Sports Online

Fanatics to Open First Sportsbook Inside FedEx Field

“The location at the home of the Washington Commanders will make it the first sportsbook to open inside an NFL stadium.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Sports licensing giant Fanatics will soon be launching its long-anticipated sportsbook.

The company will open up a physical sportsbook location in Maryland at FedEx Field on January 20. Fanatics has also been granted a license to operate in Massachusetts, tethered to Plainridge Park Casino.

The location at the home of the Washington Commanders will make it the first sportsbook to open inside an NFL stadium. Bettors in the DMV will now be able to place wagers at all their local teams’ venues, as William Hill has an on-site location at Capital One Arena – home of the Capitals and Wizards – and BetMGM has a space at Nationals Park in D.C.

Despite having a physical location at FedEx Field, bettors in Maryland will not be able to place mobile wagers through a Fanatics Sportsbook app.

According to Front Office Sports, Fanatics hopes to have the sportsbook up and running in some fashion in all states where legal by September.

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