Julia Schatz, Consultant
Prior to the BCS National Championship game on Monday night, Katherine Webb was known best as Miss Alabama 2012 or as the girlfriend of A.J. McCarron, University of Alabama’s quarterback. Thanks to two college football announcers she quickly became the star of the game. Thanks to Twitter she became an overnight celebrity. Now the question is will Miss Webb make the most of an opportunity most pageant queens dream of or will she simply have her 15 minutes of fame?
The game was unexciting considering it was a National Championship. Alabama had the game from the beginning making it rather uneventful to watch. That is until the announcers began focusing on Katherine Webb who was cheering her boyfriend on from the stands.
“Wow, I’m telling you, quarterbacks — you get all the good-looking women. What a beautiful woman,” Brent Musberger gushed. “Wow!”
As the gap in the score continued to widen, the cameras repeatedly focused on Webb, who was seemingly oblivious to the attention she was receiving.
According to ESPN, @_katherinewebb had about 2,000 followers before the game. Her Twitter following increased during the game faster than Alabama could run up the score on Notre Dame. By 6 p.m. Tuesday, her 175,000 followers surpassed McCarron’s 114,000. It did not stop there. At the time this blog was posted she had 262,805 Twitter followers. Naturally, Webb became a topic of conversation for major media outlets including The Today Show, ESPN, E! and countless more.
After the game, the Internet flooded with comments about how inappropriate and “creepy” the 73-year-old announcer’s comments were about Webb. The following day, ESPN issued an apology for veteran announcer Brent Musburger’s excessive comments. Webb’s response was both humble and graceful. She said she didn’t think an apology was necessary and that she was flattered for being called beautiful. From a PR perspective, she handled this situation with grace.
However, she may not do so well in the future as criticism comes with fame. For example, Friday morning she Tweeted:
Think you can pick me out of the crowd? Lol Wanted to share this pic from my missions trip to India.
Replies to this post included calling her racist. Probably not the response she was hoping for….
With a 200,000+ new audience, Webb is now at a crossroads. Does she want to be forever-known as Miss Alabama, the quarterback’s girlfriend who ESPN announcers focused on rather a national championship or does she want to be known for something greater? If the latter, she needs to hire a public relations manager ASAP and begin branding herself in a positive light while she still has the opportunity.