Peyton Manning talks about the second act of building a media empire | Techy Kings


Photo illustration of Peyton Manning in front of sound wave graphic shapes

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

When Peyton Manning retired from the NFL in 2016, many assumed he had become a broadcaster. Instead, in typical Peyton fashion, he called an audible.


The plot: Manning was heard because, like his playing days, he noticed something — a hole in coverage, a chance to make a big, game-changing play.

  • The big play was Omaha Productions, the company he founded that has already created several hit shows.
  • Has he changed the game? Time will tell. But so far, Manning has forged a unique path, turning down a network broadcast gig to try to build his own media empire.

What he says: “This is a second chapter for me,” Manning told me in a phone call. “I never had a plan for what I wanted to do after I stopped playing because I never had time to think about it. I just thought about football.”

Game mode: Omaha produces “Peyton’s Places” and “Manningcast,” both of which have been so successful they’ve already spawned franchises.

1. Peyton’s Places… What started as a one-off way to honor the NFL’s 100th season is now in Season 3, with Episode 1 of Manning’s light-hearted show premiering Sunday on ESPN+.

  • Omaha has already added “Eli’s Places” (Eli Manning on college football), “Vince’s Places” (Vince Carter on basketball) and “Abby’s Places” (Abby Wambach on soccer), among others.
  • “Places” will soon expand beyond sports, too, Manning tells me, with other hosts “who have walked the walk” like Luke Bryan (country music).

2. “Manningcast” … Peyton says he and Eli approach their alternate “Monday Night Football” broadcast like they’re “sitting at a bar or on a couch with the guest and the viewers.”

  • And they keep it light: “The 2nd-and-1 running play that nobody really cares about, let’s not analyze that,” Manning says. “Let’s talk to [our guest] instead. I mean, that’s how I watch football with friends and family … just like having conversations.”
  • Omaha has a deal with ESPN to expand the “Manningcast” concept to other sports, and their golf version — featuring Joe Buck and Michael Collins — debuted at this year’s PGA Championship.
A graphic showing the logo for "Peyton's place."
Graphic courtesy of Omaha Productions

The big picture: Few people love football more than Peyton. And the beauty of him owning a media company, rather than just working in media, is the freedom he has to lean all the way into it.

  • “Peyton’s Places” is a canvas for the irreverent Manning to tell obscure, downright silly stories about the NFL.
  • “Manningcast” lets him call NFL games, while being completely himself in ways the broadcast booth won’t allow.
  • Omaha as a whole puts him in an executive role, where he’s shown to have media instincts that extend far beyond his on-camera talent.

The last word: “The best thing about Omaha is helping other people tell stories,” Manning says. “I’m proud of ‘Peyton’s Places,’ but I’m even more proud of shows like ‘Abby’s Places’ that give other athletes a voice.”

Go deeper… Scoop: How ‘Manningcast’ Landed Obama


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