If you can do so at your Super Bowl party Sunday or are somehow able to hear it over the drunken mass of grown men next to you at the bar, you should be able to hear the call from Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning that’s helped a small-town city with big city dreams gain millions of dollars worth of free advertising. All with one word.
“Omaha!” According to the cerebral Manning, it is an audible where it “could be a run, could be a pass or a play action.” It was safe to say everyone thought this would die down; we already know Manning is a mastermind with his constant audibles and shifts at the line of scrimmage, but who knew the Omaha call would become a phenomenon? Who knew Manning’s audible could galvanize an entire city? Well, business is booming.
As you can imagine, the Omaha Chamber Of Commerce was thrilled to hear their city mentioned on one of the NFL‘s biggest stages. They also knew they should take advantage of the free publicity. The city launched a series of YouTube videos to promote tourism to the region. Local businesses cashed in as well. Omaha based Omaha Steaks is selling an “Omaha, Omaha” variety platter of meats for 80 bucks. The city of Omaha even donated $800 for each Omaha audible Peyton shouted out in the AFC Championship — to the tune of a cool $25,000 — all for Peyton’s charity, the Peyback Foundation.
Not to be outdone, Mutual of Omaha and Conagra — also based in Omaha — sent Manning huge gift baskets in the week following the AFC Championship Game. The Omaha Indian Tribe for which the city is named invited the Mannings to their reservation as well. Omaha is a take on the Indian word Umo “Ho” which translates to “against the current.”
The city didn’t exactly need the help in the business sector. Omaha is the home to five Fortune 500 companies including Kiewit and Sons, Berkshire Hathaway and Union Pacific. Omaha also boasts the second lowest unemployment rate in the country. These companies and bars know Manning-mania will die down post-Super Bowl, but for now, there’s no doubt who they will be rooting for on Sunday.