Manning raises $24,800 for 31 ‘Omaha’ calls

Updated: January 19, 2014, 7:29 PM ET


By
Darren Rovell | ESPN.com


Not only is Peyton Manning heading to his third Super Bowl, he made $24,800 for his charity during the AFC Championship Game.

Eight businesses will donate the money to Manning’s Peyback Foundation after they committed to donate a combined $800 for each time he said the word “Omaha” at the line of scrimmage. Manning said “Omaha” 31 times during Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.

“This has been terrific for us,” said David G. Brown, president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, which headed up the effort. “Before Friday, we had calculated that news coverage of Omaha had generated the equivalent of about $10 million in advertising.”

That was before the chamber made a video highlighting some of its attractions, with Manning’s “Omaha” calls in the background, which aired on some news stations in Denver.

Businesses based in Omaha that donated the money included Omaha Steaks, Mutual of Omaha, FNB Omaha, CenturyLink, ConAgra Foods, Union Pacific, DJ’s Dugout and Cox Communications. Brown says he expects the program will now continue on to the Super Bowl, with each “Omaha” Manning utters being worth more money since more Omaha businesses will participate.

Sponsorship evaluation firm Front Row Analytics said the city of Omaha got its money worth with each verbal mention of Omaha worth the equivalent of $150,000 in advertising.

“This is really great for Omaha as a community and for the businesses that are embedded here,” said Todd Simon, a senior vice president of Omaha Steaks, which his family owns. “Who knows whether any of this will translate to the bottom line, if ever, but it can’t hurt.”

The promotion with the chamber of commerce started after last week’s game against the San Diego Chargers, when Manning said “Omaha” 44 times.

Brown said the city had no interaction with Manning or his representatives, but assumed Manning would accept the money.

The Peyback Foundation has a mission of promoting success among disadvantaged kids. In 2012, the last year in which the charity’s filings are public, the Peyback Foundation raised $1.6 million and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to youth organizations in Indiana, Tennessee and Louisiana.

Manning himself is listed as president of the foundation, his father Archie is treasurer and secretary and his wife Ashley is vice president.

  • ESPN.com’s sports business reporter since 2012; previously at ESPN from 2000-06
  • Appears on SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and with ABC News
  • Formerly worked as analyst at CNBC

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