Opportunities for smaller destinations to jump on such an incident are few and far between but represent a golden opportunity to increase place awareness at a very low cost.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s now famous “Omaha!” call is having an unintended impact on the largest city in Nebraska.
Manning used the play call 44 times during last Sunday’s divisional playoff game against the San Diego Chargers, prompting country-wide interest in what it means and what the real Omaha is about.
— NFL (@nfl) January 13, 2014
The city’s tourism board Visit Omaha displayed a quick marketing reflex by thanking Manning for the love with a tweet that went viral and attracted more than 4,000 retweets.
— Official Omaha Info (@VisitOmaha) January 12, 2014
The number of Visit Omaha’s Twitter followers increased by more than 400 users this week. The tourism board has also seen an increase in mobile web traffic.
“People are seeing Omaha on Twitter and popping onto the website,” says Visit Omaha’s social media manager Jasmyn LeFlore.
“Whether or not it will have an impact on tourism directly, it’s definitely helped with awareness.”
LeFlore says she’s on “high alert” and tries to engage any Twitter users that seem curious about the city.
The tourism board plans its social media schedule in advance and isn’t currently planning a larger campaign to capitalize on Manning’s game day call.
But other travel companies are jumping on Omaha’s newfound popularity.
This week Hotels.com created its own “Omaha Challenge” and plans to offer 15 percent off Omaha hotels if Manning yells the call more than 50 times during this Sunday’s game.
The booking site says searches for hotels in Nebraska’s largest city increased 21 percent since last Sunday’s game.
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Photo credit: Peyton Manning in last week's game against the San Diego Chargers. Matthew Emmons / Reuters