Peyton Manning did more than just win the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, advancing to his third Super Bowl — he also raised close to $25,000 with his now-famous Omaha call.
Manning uses the Nebraska city as part of his pre-snap audible, and after the Denver Broncos quarterback was mic’ed up earlier in the 2014 playoffs all of America got to hear just how often Peyton made the call.
On Sunday, a group of businesses decided to make the Omaha call a bit more worthwhile. Eight companies pledged to give a combined $800 to Manning’s Peyback Foundation every time the Broncos quarterback yelled Omaha.
The bid certainly paid off. Peyton Manning yelled Omaha 31 times during his team’s win over the New England Patriots, meaning $24,800 went to charity.
“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, one of the companies that pitched in. “Who knows whether any of this will translate to the bottom line, if ever, but it can’t hurt.”
The foundation was started by Manning in 1999, his first year in the league, and “has donated more than $6.5 million to youth organizations in Indiana, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Colorado since its inception.”
Manning’s calls have been a boon to Nebraska’s largest city as well. Before the game, the Omaha Chamber of Commerce made a video highlighting the city’s attractions and set it to Peyton Manning calling out “Omaha!” during the playoffs.
“This has been terrific for us,” said David G. Brown, president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. “Before Friday, we had calculated that news coverage of Omaha had generated the equivalent of about $10 million in advertising.”
The fundraising could have done even better in the previous week. In the Broncos first playoff game against the San Diego Chargers, Peyton Manning yelled Omaha a total of 44 times.