Thursday, January 16, 2014

Guard the Post: Steaks and Sportsbiz, what else do you need?


Peyton Manning is maybe the most brilliant football mind of our generation. With that being said, he is notorious for his activity at the line of scrimmage; consistently calling audibles and motions is part of his game. This past weekend, Manning opened a "Pandora's box" that no one working in the Sports Business could have seen coming.


The use of meaningless terminology during play-calling and audibile-ing in the game of football is nothing new. Popular audibles include "Niner Niner", "Blue 42", and (insert combination of color and random number here). This past weekend Peyton Manning, quarterback for the Denver Broncos, created quite a stir when he used the term "Omaha" at the line of scrimmage more than 40 times. To give you an idea of scope, the Broncos only ran 70 plays.

 
After the game, the inter-webs took off in a free fall spiral proclaiming that Omaha Steaks NEEDED to sign Peyton to an endorsement contract. With the growth of field-level microphones and more players being mic'ed up during the game, this idea is not THAT crazy.

According to ESPN, a Senior Vice President at Omaha Steaks is not opposed to the idea, and in fact sees Peyton as a great face for Omaha to start national sport marketing. There is no official rule in the NFL rules regarding audible calls and personal endorsements, but players have learned the hard way that advertising your personal endorsements on an NFL field can be quite pricy. *Cough Brian Urlacher*

On Wednesday, Peyton answered the question that everyone had, "What does Omaha mean?"

"Omaha is a run play, but it could be a pass play or a play-action pass, depending on a couple things: which way we're going, the quarter, and the jerseys that we're wearing. It varies, really, from play to play. So, there's your answer to that one," said Manning. So basically it means everything and nothing, at the same time.

Though worrying about your audible call while playing professional football is not very plausible, it may be a place where some ambush marketing occurs, especially with the Super Bowl only two weeks away. I don't think Peyton is really in need of another major endorsement, but who knows? Omaha Steaks may not score one of the best quarterbacks of all-time as a client, but they have at least gotten some free publicity.

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Kevin Murray is a Pre-Junior Sport Management Major at Drexel University, originally from Havertown, PA. He worked in the Drexel Sport Management Department as a Research Assistant focusing on the Penn State scandal, equity in collegiate sports, and Title IX.  He completed his first co-op last spring with Drexel Athletics External Relations Department, where he still works part-time. He is currently a Resident Assistant in University Crossings, a member of the Undergraduate Student Government Association, and Vice President of SMTSU.  You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinj_murray.

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