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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Zoe Suder’s Story

Entered in Social Good Campaign


Just a few years ago, Zoe Suder was a regular teenage girl. A lifelong athlete, she was known for her character and spirit on the field as the team captain of her high school soccer team in Los Angeles. 

In 2022, Zoe was diagnosed with stage four metastatic Osteosarcoma bone cancer. With a tumor growing in her leg, Zoe was told by doctors that her soccer career was likely over. She began chemotherapy and was advised she would likely walk with a limp for the rest of her life. Medical bills piled up for her family, and they began a GoFundMe while Zoe continued complex treatment. 

After several weeks of surgeries, months of repeated rounds of chemo, and an 8-hour leg salvage surgery, Zoe was, against all odds, on her feet again. But while she underwent treatment, her story had touched the hearts of her community and had rallied support from friends, family, neighbors— and Peyton Manning. 

To help reach Zoe’s fundraising goal and to uplift an inspiring young athlete, partners Nationwide and Omaha Productions, Peyton Manning’s media company, sought to bring Zoe a special day at the Rose Bowl. Regarded as a storied stadium in the history of women’s soccer, with a little help from Omaha Productions’ connections, Zoe was in for an even bigger surprise at this spot.

Strategy and Execution

Zoe and the team were told that they had won a contest to practice for the day at the Rose Bowl. The stadium was the home to the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, a game that changed the trajectory of women’s sports in the United States. 

On the day of the surprise, Zoe’s team bussed over to the stadium and geared up for a full day of practice. Walking into the locker rooms, they found custom jerseys and a full setup for practice. Zoe stepped into the coach's shoes, leading her team and guiding them through drills on that legendary turf. 

Little did the team know what else the day had in store for them. In short order, soccer legend Mia Hamm appeared in the stadium, there to offer words of encouragement to Zoe and the team. 

“Sport, especially team sport, is able to lift us up and create new memories. And I think this day just gave all of us a new memory, something positive. And I know you all are inspired by Zoe every single day. Your resiliency and you all continue to show up and be there for Zoe. So thank you. Thank you for letting us be a part of this. It's been so much fun.”

Mia continued to coach the girls with Zoe and was quickly joined by fellow legends Brandi Chastain and Melanie Barcenas on the field as the girls continued to play. Video messages from all-stars Alyssa Thompson, Julia Ertz, and Peyton Manning himself capped off the day, where Peyton announced that Nationwide and Omaha Productions have teamed up to complete her GoFundMe goal and finance the rest of her care. 

The magic of the spot relies on the guest appearances from soccer icons and current players who were inspired by Zoe’s resilience and assembled by the Omaha Productions team. No strangers to working with world-class athletes, Omaha Productions is a firm believer in the power of sports to tell more stories than those on the field. Sports media has the power to uplift and unite fans and viewers, and thanks to its partnership with Nationwide, Zoe’s story will continue to inspire young athletes for years to come.


Zoe's journey is far from over, but with the unwavering support of her team, her community, and the legends of women's soccer, she's ready to face whatever challenges lie ahead. As Brandi Chastain said, "It's not just today, Zoe, that we're celebrating you. It's every day. And to be on this field is a reminder that this game and these venues belong to you, too." 

Zoe's story is a testament to the power of sport, the resilience of the athlete's spirit, and the importance of never giving up. As she continues her journey toward recovery and continuing her soccer career, Zoe proves that with determination and a strong team, anything is possible.

The campaign, in addition to being a heartwarming story, highlighted the immense power of Zoe’s passion for soccer and put a spotlight on women in sports. Perhaps the most immediate goal, Omaha Productions and Nationwide teamed up to meet Zoe’s donation goal so she can keep fighting cancer and get back to playing the game she loves. 

The spot itself was circulated across social platforms, garnering 479k views on Instagram and nearly 7m views on TikTok. Media took notice, calling the spot “emotional” and “inspiring,” driving even more attention to Zoe’s powerful story.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Omaha Productions


Entry Credits