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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Monday Night Football with Peyton & Eli: Season 3 Auditions

Entered in Video Ad


Omaha Productions, spearheaded by NFL legend Peyton Manning, kicked off the anticipated third season of ManningCast with a captivating and unexpected twist — a star-studded, hard-fought search for a third host. The ManningCast auditions campaign had a twofold mission: 1) drive national excitement for the program’s third season and 2) broaden the influence of Omaha Productions by bringing in both sports and entertainment personalities. Echoing the uplifting tone of its programming, the content aimed to humor and unite fans from across the landscape, regardless of team or sports affiliation. 

The project, despite the complexity of the vision, came together to be a full seven minutes of pitch-perfect guest appearances. The project assembled an all-star lineup thanks to Head of Talent Nicole Solomowitz’s industry savvy and guiding hand. The auditions featured an array of 35 entertainment personalities, including football legends such as Tom Brady and Ja’Marr Chase, alongside celebrity names like Reese Witherspoon, Mike Tyson, and Lil Wayne. Broadly speaking, this is a first-of-its-kind idea. The ad world has long known the value of celebrity and athlete endorsements but very rarely lets them play off each other at this scale. With more than thirty of the biggest names assembled in one trailer and eventually utilized in cross-platform social promotion, this campaign transcended conventional boundaries for sports broadcasting, introducing a unique blend of sports icons and A-list celebrities into the ManningCast universe and the ad space at large.

Strategy and Execution

The 7-minute promo, crafted by Omaha’s elite team of creatives and launched by their talented digital and social teams, unfolded as a seamless fusion of sports and entertainment. With a robust social video campaign spinning off individual moments across social channels, the campaign leveraged its celebrity roster to maximum effect. The ad campaign not only heralded the return of America’s favorite NFL program for its third season but also strategically showcased Omaha Productions as a creative powerhouse capable of uniting audiences across entertainment verticals.

Each time Peyton and Eli step in front of the camera, they’re breaking new ground for athletes in entertainment. Part of the brothers’ charm is their organic sibling dynamic and the goofy, off-the-cuff approach to their on-screen personas. No other footballers have quite stepped into the limelight like Eli and Peyton, and this ad shows them in peak entertainer form. 

The star-studded lineup was more than just fun to watch. The ad itself was produced knowing the social media promotion that followed would lean heavily on individual viral clips from the larger piece, so there was the challenge of creating a commercial that functioned on its own as a complete ad while also being a dynamic video that could be spun off into the larger social campaign. The cast assembled for the promo was hand-picked by the team at Omaha Productions to increase the ad’s reach across the digital landscape. The Gen-Z demographic could see their favorite TikTokker, Livvy Dunne, while old-school football fans could catch Archie Manning in the trailer. 35 top entertainment personalities, including Tom Brady and Lil Wayne, drove user engagement across a diverse array of feeds and demographics, expanding the program’s reach and building unprecedented hype for the show. 

As one might expect, securing some of the top athletes, sports personalities, and celebrities, including the likes of Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled, and Tom Brady, is a tough task. Booking the long list of talent required for a piece this ambitious was a sizable challenge, and this campaign would not have been possible without Peyton and Eli’s unmatched relationship with a network of the biggest names in sports and pop culture. 

Similarly, aligning the schedules of those same big names proved to be no easy feat. Coordinating shooting and production required meticulous planning, flexibility, the production team’s genius, and a little behind-the-scenes magic to make the vision a reality. 

These athletes, including Patrick Mahomes, Cam Heyward, and Dalvin Cook, are also untrained performers and are not-your-average commercial actors. There has never been a smoother transition of on-the-field prowess into star power as this ad, and it's thanks to Omaha Productions’ singular position as the industry leader that these icons were convinced to join the trailer. In the end, the ad campaign set a new standard for sports entertainment, firmly establishing Omaha Productions as a social, digital, and marketing powerhouse. 


Omaha Productions squarely achieved its goal of driving hype for the new season of the program with the Season 3 Auditions ad. Thanks to the trailer buzz, ESPN at the time reported the Monday Night Football season opener as their most viewed Monday night game ever, with audience numbers up 14% from last season’s opener. Notably, the show’s third season saw the biggest Manningcast ever— the Chiefs vs. Eagles was the most-watched Monday Night Football game in 27 years, averaging over 29 million viewers across outlets. Football programming viewership on the night peaked at 31.2 million viewers, and the Manningcast saw a huge audience influx for the game.

Across all social platforms, the campaign garnered 42.6 million video views. Taking advantage of the ad’s cast, the Omaha social team split each celebrity appearance into its own clip, amplifying more than 20 excerpts across the stars’ own social channels. Individual clips reached over 8.5 million views across platforms, exploding the excitement for the program. 

Overcoming production hurdles, the ad is a testament to the savvy of Omaha’s in-house team. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli has created an entirely new genre of sports broadcasting that breaks the mold of standard, dry analyst commentary. With headlines calling it “hilarious” and “epic,” the project did just what it set out to do— drive hype for the show’s third season. The program saw enhanced interest even in its first episode and consistently draws in over 1 million views per episode. 


Video for Monday Night Football with Peyton & Eli: Season 3 Auditions

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Omaha Productions


Entry Credits