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U.S. advances out of group stage at World Cup....Oklahoma State plans $55M Boone Pickens Stadium upgrades....Manning's Omaha having talks with Peter Chernin group

U.S. advances out of group stage at World Cup

The USMNT beat Iran 1-0 in the World Cup today to advance out of their group and will face the Netherlands on Saturday at 10am ET (SBJ). The crowd at the 44,000-seat Al Thumama Stadium was "decidedly pro-Iran" (ESPN.com, 11/29). A "mix of singing and whistling greeted the Iranian national anthem, as most of Iran’s players mouthed the words with little emotion." The players have been the "subject of much attention, as they stood stoically still and silent during the anthem at the first game, then mouthed or sang half-heartedly at the second" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/29).

Ok. State to spend $55M on Boone Pickens upgrade

Oklahoma State athletics will "upgrade the seating bowl" at Boone Pickens Stadium to the tune of $55M as part of a multiyear project. The first year of the process "will focus on the north side." Each stage will "take place during the offseason months for football and will not interfere with Oklahoma State's home schedules." OSU has engaged K.C.-based Populous for the work. The first phase of the project is "expected to conclude in late summer of 2023, with the second phase beginning after the final home game of the 2023 college football season" (247 SPORTS, 11/29).

Manning's Omaha in talks with Chernin studio

Peyton Manning's Omaha Productions is "in deal discussions" with Peter Chernin's new content studio, according to sources. The talks center around Chernin "making an investment" into the sports and entertainment production company. A deal with Chernin would mark the "first major outside investment into Omaha Productions," which launched officially in 2021. It also would allow Omaha to "expand further into digital content, podcasts and sports-adjacent entertainment." The precise details of the deal discussions could "not be determined." Omaha in recent months has "expanded into more sports-adjacent and lifestyle content, like reality shows, award shows and podcasts" (AXIOS, 11/29).

CFP gives Wed. deadline for '24 expansion decision

CFP leaders issued an "ultimatum to the Rose Bowl this week," giving a "self-imposed deadline of Wednesday to determine whether the CFP can expand in time for the start of the 2024 regular season." If the Rose Bowl cannot agree to the terms, it is "possible it could be excluded from the New Year's Six bowl rotation in the next contract," according to sources. There is "mounting pressure to make a decision this week," with the self-imposed deadline of Wednesday issued because the "host cities are running out of time and have bent over backward to accommodate the CFP to this point while they try to work out the details." While the Rose Bowl's position in an expanded CFP "isn't the only obstacle that slowed the process, it is the last and most complicated." The discussion centered around the Rose Bowl wanting to "maintain its exclusive broadcast window on Jan. 1 at 2 p.m. PT in years that it would also host a CFP semifinal" (ESPN.com, 11/29).

Skoll joins Monumental Sports as minority investor

Billionaire investor Jeff Skoll is joining Monumental Sports & Entertainment as a "new minority investor." The sports group, which owns the Wizards, Mystics, Capitals and Capital City Go-Go, is led by Ted Leonsis. The size of Skoll's stake "was not revealed" in a Tuesday announcement. The addition of Skoll, whose net worth is $5.58B according to Bloomberg, "comes as Leonsis is said to be making a move" to buy the Nationals, who were put up for sale earlier this year. The franchise is "expected to fetch upward" of $2B in the event of an "all-out sale" (WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/29).

March of Dimes honors sports figures at luncheon

By Terry Lefton

In Manhattan today, The March of Dimes 39th annual Sports Luncheon, long one of the industry’s most important gatherings, feted ESPN Chair Jimmy Pitaro, Baseball HOFer Derek Jeter, longtime Rutgers women's basketball coach Vivian Stringer, and PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh. Pitaro received the Corporate Leadership Award; Jeter was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award; Waugh got the Sports Leadership Award, while Stringer got the Sports Achievement Award, in connection with the 50th anniversary of Title IX. “This (award) is something that will have a special place in my heart because of its impact on years of coaching,” said Stringer, in front of an audience of around 500 at Cipriani Midtown. Added Jeter: “I’ve learned and understand now that that once you have a platform, you should use that platform to help impact other lives.” Today’s luncheon raised $1.2M for the MOD’s fight against birth defects and for the health of mothers and infants.

March of Dimes Luncheon honorees (l to r): Seth Waugh, Jimmy Pitaro, Vivian Stringer, Derek Jeter

Speed Reads....

The WNBA Connecticut Sun named Darius Taylor their new GM, while Dir of Franchise Development Morgan Tuck will "add assistant GM to her current responsibilities." Taylor will take over after Curt Miller, who had served as Sun coach and GM since 2016, "left for the Los Angeles Sparks in October" (HARTFORD COURANT, 11/29).

Quick Hits....

“They recommend making ESPN’s linear channel available direct-to-consumer outside the bundle, suggesting $30 a month” -- CNBC’s Julia Boorstin, on Guggenheim releasing a note on Disney outlining several steps the company should take to improve profitability (“TechCheck,” CNBC, 11/29).

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Today in SportTechie....

Check out Sports Business Journal's weekly issue

Don't miss this week's issue of SBJ. We’re hitting the ranch with Mark Emmert for our cover story this week. The outgoing NCAA president talks candidly about his efforts and frustrations with the organization. Also in this issue: Malcom Jenkins built a business portfolio as an NFL player and is committed to helping others find success; NBA Equity’s strong rookie year gives companies a shot; and tracking the many moves that have reset the talent agency world.

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Daily Digit....

-- Number of MLS players in the USMNT's starting lineup for today's World Cup match against Iran. It is "only the second time" that has happened for a competitive match since the league began in 1996. The other was a 2011 Gold Cup match against Jamaica (TWITTER.com, 11/29).

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