Saturday September 30, 2023

WWE Names Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini to Board

  • WWE has announced that Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini will be joining its board of directors.
  • The move makes Nardini the third woman to currently hold a board position at the media and entertainment company.
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Erika Nardini can now add “board member” to her resume. As of today, the Barstool Sports CEO has become the newest member of WWE’s Board of Directors. 

The announcement makes Nardini the third woman to currently hold a board position at the media and entertainment company. She joins the likes of Laureen Ong and Stephanie McMahon, the company’s chief brand officer and daughter of WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. 

“Erika is a seasoned executive with a tremendous track record of building businesses, developing experiences, and engaging different audiences across the media ecosystem,” Vince McMahon said 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.”

Nardini’s appointment to WWE’s Board of Directors is the latest in what has been a career full of headlines at Barstool Sports. Since becoming CEO in 2016, Barstool has found itself in controversy ranging from its treatment of female sportswriters to allegations of racism within the company

That, however, has yet to damage Nardini and her efforts at helping Barstool Sports grow under her leadership. In 2019, Barstool Sports generated between $90 million and $100 million in revenue, coming largely from its podcasts, merchandise sales and gambling deals. She was also instrumental in both Barstool’s signing of Deion Sanders in August and the development of Pink Whitney, which has become the number-one selling flavored vodka in North America.

In early 2020, Nardini and Dave Portnoy, Barstool Sports’ founder and president, celebrated the company’s partnership with Penn National Gaming, which purchased a 36% stake in the media company in a deal that valued it at $450 million. She followed that by helping Barstool renew its advertising deal with NASCAR.

Nardini also closed out September with the launch of the Barstool Sportsbook, which recorded an $11 million digital handle and 30,000 downloads in Pennsylvania — 180,000 total across the U.S. — within four days of its debut

In January, WWE went through a significant corporate shakeup as co-presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson both left the company amid an elongated viewership and stock price decline. 

Nick Khan, CAA’s co-head of television, was named WWE’s new president and chief revenue officer in August. Steve Pamon, who is the president and chief operating officer of the Beyoncé-founded entertainment company Parkwood Entertainment, was also named to WWE’s board in September.

WWE’s stock price is down nearly 39% since the start of the year as of the close of trading on Oct. 5.

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