DENVER, CO. – JANUARY 16: A Small Print Shop owner, Stephen Till, left, looks over a newly screen-printed t-shirt with clients from Smirk, Shea Burgin, second from left, Nick Baumgart, center, and Taylor Langan, right, at the print shop in downtown Denver, Thursday, January 16, 2014. Smirk, a digital design company, designed and sells two shirts with the sayings, â€œHurry Hurryâ€ and â€œOmahaâ€ on them, the same words that Denver Broncos quarterback, Peyton Manning uses during games before the snap. The shirts sell for $24 online at www.smirktoyshop.com. (Photo By Andy Cross / The Denver Post) (Andy Cross, THE DENVER POST)
Businesses are in a “Hurry, hurry” to make money off Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s pre-snap signal calls.
With the AFC Championship game days away, retailers are pushing products emblazoned with words that no one outside the team understand, but fans love to repeat.
“We are to-the-core Broncos fans who wanted to do something fun with (Manning’s) calls, which have become part of the vernacular in Colorado,” said Nick Baumgart, owner of Smirk, a digital design company in Littleton.
Smirk-designed shirts screenprinted with “Hurry Hurry” and “Omaha” are in such high demand for Sunday’s game against New England that Baumgart has is struggling to keep up with orders.
Baumgart, who is preparing to open a storefront at Blake and 31st streets, said he has been working around the clock to fill orders with shirts churned out by A Small Print Shop in Denver .
“We have been inundated, but everyone who ordered a shirt, and was told it would arrive before the game, will get them on time,” he said.
Denver’s sports radio station 104.3 The Fan is selling “Keep Calm and Hurry, Hurry” shirts. Frontier Airlines on Thursday ended its three-day “Hurry, Hurry” sale that gave fliers an 18 percent discount (18, get it?) on some tickets.
Think you know how many times Manning will yell “Omaha” on Sunday? You’ll want to get into the contest being run by KNUS 710 AM. The winner gets a free trip to Nebraska’s biggest city.
Manning’s pre-snap signal calls are used to alter the play at the line of scrimmage or draw the defense off-sides.
Screaming “Omaha” 44 times during the play-off game against San Diego last week led to five off-sides calls against the Chargers.
The call also translated into a bump in business this week for at least one business with Omaha in its name.
“It’s just fabulous,” Omaha Steaks spokeswoman Beth Weiss said. The Nebraska-based retailer has two stores in metro Denver. “We have seen an uptick in web traffic and all the customers who come through the shops are talking about Peyton Manning.”
ESPN and the NFL visited Omaha to film a segment on Thursday, Weiss said, which said got the city buzzing even more.
“There were already a lot of Broncos fans here,” she said, “but there are a lot more now.”
The signal calls have put Nebraskans in a giving mood, too.
Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce president David Brown announced Thursday that six companies — ConAgra Foods, First National Bank of Omaha, Mutual of Omaha, Omaha Steaks, Union Pacific Railroad and DJ’s Dugout — have chipped in to donate $600 to Manning’s PeyBack Foundation every time he shouts “Omaha” during the game on Sunday.
If Manning keeps up the pace set during last week’s game, that’s more than $26,000 to the charity.
“We’re pulling for a lot of Manning snaps on Sunday, a lot of ‘Omahas,’ ” Brown said, “and a lot of money for the kids helped by his foundation.”
Ryan Parker: 303-954-2409, email@example.com or twitter.com/ryanparkerdp