Foot Locker’s Super Bowl MVPs: Chris Matthews & Nick Cannon

Foot Locker’s marketing team is celebrating an unexpected win this morning. The athletic retailer ponied up the more than $4 million for an advertising spot during the last night’s game but got its most valuable play from Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Chris Matthews.

Matthews, a 25-year-old California native, was signed to the team last February as a free agent and, as lore goes, almost didn’t make the tryouts because he had to request time off from his job at Foot Locker.

It’s a good thing he did. Matthews turned out to be the star of the first half of last night’s game. He landed his first NFL career reception early on, taking down a 44-yard pass from Russell Wilson that put the Seahawks on the board. His second touchdown came near halftime, with an 11-yard pass that tied up the game at 14-14.

While Matthews’ performance wasn’t enough to win the Seahawks the championship trophy, it did turn the wide receiver into a trending topic on social media.

Foot Locker was quite proud. The company tweeted:

Hoops star Dwayne Wade added his congratulations:

New York-based Foot Locker also aired a new commercial starring Portland Trailblazer Damian Lillard, who fields a request from Nick Cannon to become the team’s new signature celebrity. But in the tradition of Super Bowl ads sending paychecks to aging TV personalities, the spot also featured Bobby Brown, Joey Fatone, Shock G and Ian Ziering.

Check out the video below:

Whether these Super Bowl mentions will net sales at the register for Foot Locker remains to be seen, but it unfortunately didn’t boost the company’s performance on Wall Street this morning. Foot Locker’s share price slipped more than 2 percent in early trading this morning as U.S. stocks plummeted across the board following disappointing news on manufacturing and consumer spending in December.

Access exclusive content