Foot Locker didn't have to buy an advertisement in this year's Super Bowl—it has one playing in the game. Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Chris Matthews worked at Foot Locker before the team recruited him, and he's become a hero in the playoffs.
His surprising postseason run was topped off when he made a touchdown catch, with just two seconds left in the first half, to tie the game. That was enough to send him trending on Twitter and give Foot Locker a big boost.
By the second half, "Foot Locker" was trending on Twitter, as well, making the sneaker shop perhaps the big winner among non-Super Bowl brands looking to make marketing hay during advertising's biggest day of the year.
A lot of brands are trying to capture excitement, but as a number of Twitter fans noted, you can't buy the kind of exposure Foot Locker is getting right now.
Unfortunately, when announcers talked about Matthews during the game they only referred to his humble origins working for a "sporting goods store." So, clearly the National Football League was not going to give Foot Locker any unpaid attention.
Here's a look at Foot Locker's tweet and fans' reactions:
How much do you think Foot Locker paid to get one of their employees in the Super Bowl?— Lon Harris (@Lons) February 2, 2015
He was working at footlocker my friends FOOTLOCKER— 2017class (@2017hsclass) February 2, 2015
All 30 other NFL GMs just called their local Foot Locker asking who their tallest employee is.— LostLettermen.com (@LostLettermen) February 2, 2015
New Foot Locker motto: "Work for us and you can end up in the Super Bowl"— David Kaufer (@DavidKaufer) February 2, 2015
When the Winnipeg Blue Bombers cut Matthews he went to work as a security guard at Foot Locker. He signed w/Seattle last February.— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) February 2, 2015
Always wondered what happened to that guy at the Footlocker who told me he'd "be right back" with my size 8 Adidas Superstars. #9news— Drew Soicher (@DrewSoicher) February 2, 2015
All the employees at Foot Locker are going to have such attitudes from now on— B.J. Novak (@bjnovak) February 2, 2015