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Start your morning with Buzzcast: Excel Sports scores at NBA Draft; breaking down year one of the USFL; DP World Tour finally states its LIV Golf policy; and big names in sports invest in Jackpot.

NBA Draft: Excel commands round one picks

By Olivia Green and Liz Mullen

Excel Sports Management dominated last night's NBA Draft with seven round one picks. BDA Sports/WME Sports and CAA Sports each got four picks. Each of the top 5 overall picks were represented by different agencies: LIFT Sports Management, BDA Sports/WME Sports, Prather Sports, Priority Sports & Entertainment and CAA Sports. Former NBAer Mike Miller of LIFT Sports Management represented No. 1 Paolo Banchero (Magic). During round one of last year's NBA Draft, CAA Sports won the night with eight picks while Excel Sports Management and Klutch Sports Group tied for second-most with three picks each.

PK TEAM PLAYER/POS./SCHOOL AGENTS(S)/FIRM
1 Magic Paolo Banchero/F/Duke Mike Miller/LIFT Sports Management
2 Thunder Chet Holmgren/F/Gonzaga Bill Duffy/BDA Sports/WME Sports
3 Rockets Jabari Smith Jr./F/Auburn Wallace Prather/Prather Sports
4 Kings Keegan Murray/F/Iowa Mark Bartelstein, Kyle McAlarney/Priority Sports & Entertainment
5 Pistons Jaden Ivey/G/Purdue Austin Brown, Max Saidman/CAA Sports
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Top Five NBA Draft Picks

See the full listing in today's SBJ daily edition.

Magic energize fan base with Banchero pick

The Magic selected Paolo Banchero out of Duke No. 1 overall in last night's NBA Draft, and thousands of fans at the team's Amway Center draft party "erupted when Banchero’s name was announced and confetti fell from the ceiling." There will be "time later to come back down to earth and remember the Magic had the second-worst record in the league this season and are still years away from contending for any championships, but this was a night when Magic fans could dare to dream again" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 6/24).

Drafting Banchero is the "single most significant decision the Magic’s basketball operations leadership, led by president Jeff Weltman, has made" since the 2004 draft when they took Dwight Howard first overall. Although it "wasn’t clear if there was a franchise-changing player available in this draft, making the choice for No. 1 more difficult than most years, the Magic made the right pick based on where they’re looking to go" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 6/24).

Oklahoma renews with Learfield for 10 years

By Michael Smith

The Univ. of Oklahoma has agreed to a new 10-year multimedia rights deal with Learfield that will expand on the longstanding relationship between the Sooners and the company. Financial terms of the deal were not available, but the new agreement begins July 1. In describing the deal, Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione used words like "groundbreaking," "historic" and "transformative." The newest contract includes many of the traditional multimedia rights that OU has had with Learfield since 1994. But it also takes into account Learfield’s latest offerings, such as Allied and Allied+, to provide more NIL opportunities for OU athletes, plus Learfield Studios for content creation. Learfield also is on the verge of hiring a sales exec who will focus strictly on developing NIL opportunities, which is the Allied+ initiative.

Castiglione had been working on a new multimedia rights agreement for two years in preparation for the next deal. He brought in Octagon to conduct a 360-degree analysis of the Oklahoma Sooners brand and the value of its media. Castiglione also has a longstanding relationship with media consultant Lee Berke, but in this case Castiglione took the lead on all negotiations. Learfield locked up the OU rights before they ever hit the open market. In addition to multimedia rights, Oklahoma has its licensing, ticketing and official athletic website with Learfield companies -- CLC, Paciolan and Sidearm. Learfield Amplify also assists with development needs and premium seating sales. Learfield’s interim GM for the Oklahoma property, Kelly Collyar, has been elevated into the GM role and the interim tag removed.

TurnkeyZRG to aid in NCAA president search

The NCAA Board of Governors selected TurnkeyZRG to assist in identifying the next president of the NCAA, as Mark Emmert will exit by June 2023. TurnkeyZRG will begin with a listening phase, where the firm will meet with different governance committees, membership groups and national office staff to gather their input on the position of NCAA president. This will allow the search to continue while a new board assumes its duties starting Aug. 1. The new board will appoint a search committee that will receive updates from the search firm, direct any additional information gathering and finalize the position description. The BOG will make the final selection of a chosen candidate based on recommendations and feedback from the selection committee (NCAA).

The firm already is actively leading the search for the Big 12 commissioner, and in recent years, TurnkeyZRG has aided the ACC and Pac-12 commissioner searches as well. TurnkeyZRG Chair & CEO Len Perna said of the NCAA search, “It’s not plug-n-play. There is a lot of listening and discovery across a wide range of stakeholders in order to refine and perhaps redefine the needed role in our new world” (Michael Smith, SBJ).

DP World Tour fines, suspends LIV entrants

The DP World Tour has "broken its silence on the chaos" caused by LIV Golf, "announcing a series of sanctions against members who play on the start-up circuit." Those who participated in the inaugural LIV Golf event at the Centurion Club outside London "have each been fined £100,000 [US$123,000] for taking part in the tournament without permission from the DP World Tour." They have also been "suspended from participating" in the Genesis Scottish Open, Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship. These three events are "co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and PGA Tour." The DP World Tour "has threatened further sanctions for players" who participate in further conflicting tournaments "without a required release" (BUNKERED.co.uk, 6/24).

DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley spoke on the issue at the start of coverage of the BMW International Open this morning. He said of the sanctions to players, “It’s not a new rule, it’s been around for 30 years. … The action required a consequence.” When asked about the decision to not administer lifetime bans for players like the PGA Tour, Pelley said, “We’ve said all along we are partners with the PGA Tour … but they have different rules and regulations than we do. … We’ve done what we think is right.” Notable LIV players that were allowed to compete this week include Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer (“BMW International Open,” Golf Channel, 6/24).

MLS makes '23 All-Star Game in DC official

MLS "returned to its roots" in formally announcing that the 2023 All-Star Game will take place at DC United's Audi Field. The date of the event is July 19. The league "has not decided whether to keep the current format -- select players from MLS facing counterparts from Liga MX, the Mexican first division -- return to MLS against a famous club or go to something entirely different." The last time the All-Star Game was held in DC was 2004. This comes after a joint DC-Baltimore bid missed out on hosting 2026 FIFA World Cup matches; the "MLS All-Star Game is no World Cup, but it’s something." The city "has not hosted an All-Star Game of any kind" since MLB’s in 2018 at Nationals Park (WASHINGTON POST, 6/23).

Big3 names TickPick official ticket marketplace

By Eric Prisbell

TickPick, a no-fee ticket marketplace, is partnering with the Big3 three-on-three basketball league to be its official ticket marketplace for the '22 season, which tipped off last Saturday in Chicago. As part of the partnership, TickPick and the Big3 are hosting a sweepstakes in which one fan and a guest can win an all-expense paid trip to the Big3's inaugural All-Star Game at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas on Sept. 8. The package includes two tickets to the game, roundtrip airfare and a four-night stay at the hotel.

Speed Reads....

UTEP Athletics and The Brandr Group established a group licensing agreement covering all 17 varsity sports, creating opportunities for UTEP student-athletes to profit off their NIL using the school’s official trademarks and logos. UTEP joins UT Austin, UTSA and UT Permian Basin as schools in the Univ. of Texas system that have agreements with TBG (TBG).

The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) will launch its new League Bowler Certification membership program this fall across more than 300 bowling centers in the U.S., with over 180,000 league bowlers enrolled. The program will start with Bowlero Corp.'s footprint, then the PBA will work to expand to all U.S. bowling centers (PBA).

Quick Hits....

"In 20 years, we’ll be able to look back and say, 'That suit did not age well.' The Draft is exciting. For two hours, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announces the picks and then flies back to his home planet” -- NBC's Jimmy Fallon (“The Tonight Show,” NBC, 6/23).

“The amount of money you need to just attract customers is incredibly expensive. It’s a question of whether they can sustain enough of the capital burn” -- CNBC contributor Boris Schlossberg, on shares of DraftKings (“Power Lunch,” CNBC, 6/23).

“The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially approved a request yesterday for Ohio State University to register the word ‘The,’ in an attempt to get your dad to stop calling it ‘The Facebook’” -- NBC’s Seth Meyers (“Late Night,” NBC, 6/24).

Morning Hot Reads: Super Smashville Bros.

The Nashville TENNESSEAN goes with, "How Bill Haslam put himself on path to Nashville Predators ownership -- and what's ahead." The man who "helped keep hockey in Nashville found another man who intends to do the same in the long-term." Current Preds majority owner Herb Fritch called Haslam, the former Tennessee Gov., earlier this year about "selling his majority stake in his beloved franchise." The deal "will come together in phases over three years, starting with Haslam taking a minority ownership later this summer or early fall."

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Final Jeopardy!

Last night’s "Final Jeopardy!" category was "Classic Albums."

"This classic album by a Southern rocker gets its title from a Civil War quote by a Union admiral."

Today's Back Pages....

The Morning Buzz offers today's back page sports covers from some of North America's major metropolitan tabloids:

N.Y. Post N.Y. Daily News Newsday Boston Herald Chicago Sun-Times Philadelphia Daily News
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