Jamie Horowitz and Peyton Manning Land Caitlin Clark for Omaha Production’s ManningCast on ESPN


On November 20th, Iowa basketball superstar Caitlin Clark became the first college athlete to make an appearance on ESPN2’s ManningCast as the Philadelphia Eagles took on the Kansas City Chiefs. Clark spent most of the second quarter chatting with the Manning brothers about topics ranging from her football fandom to her nationally ranked team at Iowa, who are coming off a championship game appearance and appear poised for another run.

Clark, who some have called the greatest women’s college basketball player of all-time,is a lifelong Kansas City Chiefs fan. “I’m not a bandwagon Chiefs fan,” Clark told the Mannings during the broadcast. “I was a Chiefs fan even when they weren’t very good.”

This sparked Peyton’s interest, as Clark has spent her entire life living in Iowa and now plays college basketball in Iowa. He quipped, “How is it that (you) now cheer for the Chiefs?”

“I’ve been a Chiefs fan since I was a young girl,” Clark explained. “My brother was a Chiefs fan. My dad was a Chiefs fan. I had cousins in Kansas City who were Chiefs fans.”

In fact, earlier in the day on November 20th, a picture began circulating on social media of a young Clark decked in Chiefs gear.

Recently, Clark has built a friendship with Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes over Twitter. The two-time MVP and Super Bowl champion says he hopes to watch Clark play in person at some point.

Like any ManningCast broadcast, Clark’s appearance featured no shortage of must-watch moments. At one point, Eli asked Caitlin about the support she receives from her brother and former Iowa State quarterback, Blake. Seeing an opportunity to throw shade at his brother and broadcast partner, Peyton, Eli asked sarcastically, “What’s it like to have an older brother who supports you and encourages you?”

However, Clark herself stole the show when she accurately predicted a Chiefs touchdown pass before the end of the first half. With the score tied at 7-7, the Chiefs were driving, and Clark forecasted a touchdown pass to Travis Kelce as the Chiefs held the ball at the Eagles’ 11-yard line. Although she had made the same prediction earlier in the game only to see a Mahomes pass intended for Justin Watson (not Kelce) intercepted in the end zone, she stuck to her gut, and she was rewarded.

Clark left the broacast before the touchdown took place, but she earned a permanent place on the Mannings’ “perfect prediction board,” a place reserved for past guests who accurately predict what a team will do inside the Red Zone. “We’ll put you on the board if Kelce scores, I promise,” Peyton Manning assured Clark as she prepared to leave before the commercial break that occurred during the two-minute warning.

ManningCast cameras in Iowa showed Clark grinning after Kelce scored. Not only did Clark anticipate a pass to Kelce for the score, but she also anticipated the eventual play call, with Kelce gaining separation from the defender with a spin move.

“PUT ME ON THE PERFECT PREDICTION BOARD!!!!!!” Clark tweeted shortly after the score. The brothers kept their promise, attaching a cutout picture of Clark’s head alongside other past predictors such as Will Ferrell and Aaron Rodgers.

Clark’s affinity for the Mahomes-Kelce connection is more than just a result of her Chiefs fandom. The two-time unanimous first-team All-American and reigning AP Player of the Year notices similarities between the Chiefs duo and her Iowa squad.

“Oh, man. They’re one of the best duos,’’ Clark said of Mahomes and Kelce. “It’s kind of similar to how we run the offense at Iowa. Good point guard, good post player. Good quarterback, great tight end. And they’re fun to watch. They make football exciting.”

Clark continues to take the world of women’s college basketbal by storm. Clark is known for hitting three-point shots from the logo and threading the needle with spectacular passes. On November 12th, Clark earned her 12th-career triple-double and cemented her spot as Iowa’s all-time leading scorer. She led the Hawkeyes to the Final Four in 2023 and her team currently sits at third in USA Today’s rankings with an 8-1 record and big early season wins against 16th-ranked Kansas State and 13th-ranked Virginia Tech. Stephen A. Smith has called her a “sensational talent,” and openly wondered if he should call Clark the “female Steph Curry” or if it was better to call Steph Curry “the male version of Caitlin Clark.”

Although Clark’s beloved Chiefs would eventually lose to the Eagles 21-17, Clark still made history with her appearance. The 21-year-old’s career accolades continue to add up, and she will forever boast a spot on the ManningCast prediction board while also bearing the title as the first college athlete to appear on the ManningCast.

Although Peyton and Eli Manning both won multiple Super Bowls as starting quarterbacks, they are each arguably more popular now than they were during their playing careers. They co-host the ManningCast, which averages between one and two million viewers each week. Notably, the average ManningCast viewer is six years younger than Monday Night Football’s typical audience.

ManningCast is produced by Omaha Productions which, despite being only two years old, has quickly risen up as a powerhouse in sports media. In addition the the manningCast, Omaha Productions produces hits like Netflix’s Quarterback docuseries and Eli’s Places for ESPN+.

Behind the scenes, former ESPN VP and Fox Sports President Jamie Horowitz plays a major role in keeping Omaha Productions’ content relevant through his strong creativity and innovation. Before working with the Mannings, Horowitz was instrumental in the rise of several top sports media personalities, including Stephen A. Smith, Shannon Sharpe, and Colin Cowherd.

In 2020, Jamie Horowitz traveled to Denver with Josh Pyatt to pitch Peyton Manning on the vision for the company that would eventually become Omaha Productions. They shared an idea for a company that reflected Mannings’ values Manning was initially hesitant, but Horowitz and Pyatt assured him that Manning could lead a company that would bring people together in a meaningful way.

Manning sees Omaha Productions as more than a new source of income. He views it as his new team. “I would never underestimate the level of [Peyton’s] ambition,” said Omaha Productions investor Peter Chernin, chairman and CEO of the Chernin Group. “He’s super impressive, incredibly smart, and incredibly focused. He is one of the most focused people I’ve ever been around.”

Manning and Jamie Horowitz share the goal of serving sports fans in new and innovative ways. For example, they recently unveiled a new augmented reality table during a ManningCast broadcast. It took nearly a year to build, and it’s the first of its kind in the sports world.

Horowitz and Manning have already left an undeniable impact on the world of sports media in only a few short years of working together. It’s impossible to imagine what the future of the company might look like, but it will surely be exciting to watch unfold.

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