A new era is looming at Barstool Sports.
The Post has learned that Erika Ayers Badan is leaving her role as CEO.
Ayers Badan (formerly Nardini), 48, began at Barstool in 2016, shortly after it was acquired by The Chernin Group at a valuation of $15 million, leading the company through enormous personnel, revenue and relevance expansion that saw it acquired by PENN Entertainment for a total of more than $500 million between 2020-23.
The company was sold back to founder Dave Portnoy for $1 last August after the irreverent brand proved an impediment with state gambling regulators.
While Barstool Sportsbook was able to get licensed in most states with legal gambling, it failed to gain licensure in New York, the state with the biggest population that also has legal gambling.
In Massachusetts, it ultimately was licensed, but there was an imbroglio in which state regulators took issues with the “Can’t Lose Parlay” promotion, as Barstool sought to explain that the slogan was satirical based on popular talent Dan “Big Cat” Katz, who spearheaded the promotion, being a notoriously unsuccessful gambler.
In another predicament, PENN compelled Portnoy to fire personality Ben Mintz for saying the N-word when he rapped the lyrics to a song on a live stream.
Portnoy ultimately rehired Mintz to be an ambassador to his Brick Watch brand, and then to Barstool when he regained control of the company.
After PENN divested from Barstool, the company partnered with ESPN for its gambling app.
A former executive at AOL, Ayers Badan also previously served on WWE’s board.
For years she has hosted the “Token CEO” podcast, which gives business advice to listeners, for Barstool.
Under her leadership, Barstool’s marketing scale greatly expanded, and there have been deals with blue-chip brands such as Coors Lite and Pizza Hut.
The Barstool brand has become mainstream, especially in the coveted 18-34 advertising demographic, with millions of followers across X, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
It is not immediately known what Ayers Badan’s next move will be.
Ayers Badan and Barstool founder Dave Portnoy could not immediately be reached for comment.