In an otherwise utterly forgettable national championship this past Jan. 7, Katherine Webb's celebrity began rising faster than ESPN could apologize for Brent Musburger.
In that one night, Webb added 90,000 new Twitter followers, as the Twitterverse gushed in ways that not even ESPN would be able to apologize for.
With that, opportunity was knocking for the reigning Miss Alabama.
Webb appears eager to open the door to fame and fortune (who can blame her?). She has been popping up in various places since her frequent appearances on the TV during the title game, but none have created the kind of buzz that her current platform for fame is: the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Make no mistake about it, this is a big step. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is huge business. As Forbes' Jeff Bercovici reports, sales for this issue "typically" exceed 1 million copies.
Considering this is the 50th anniversary edition of the issue, there is a good chance this one will set a new sales standard for the issue.
That is good news for Sports Illustrated. The company needs this issue to be a hit. According to a CNBC report in 2010, seven percent of all of Sports Illustrated's advertising revenue for the year came from the 2009 issue.
So, let this honor speak to the power of Webb's celebrity.
There is no doubt that Sports Illustrated realized that putting the girlfriend of the Alabama Crimson Tide's starting quarterback, A.J. McCarron, was catering to their target audience.
However, the company wouldn't cheapen this important issue if it didn't feel Webb had star pull.
The fame garnered from this valuable spot in the magazine is going to push Webb into even higher levels of fame. This is going to create a new world of opportunities for the 23-year-old.
If she handles those opportunities smartly she has a chance to turn what seemed to be 15-minutes of fame into a lucrative career.
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