As of Wednesday afternoon, Under Armour hadn’t featured her on its homepage, and it was unclear when or if it had plans to do so.
That’s partially why it’s still early to project the financial impact of Stephens’ performance. For a similar comparison you might consider the 21-year-old American Melanie Oudin, who reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open in 2009 at 17. Oudin has since struggled mightily with her game, but her emergence four years ago had enough currency for her to earn $3 million in endorsements. Those brands included American Express, AirTran Airways and Virgin Mobile.
Oudin, however, did not defeat Williams, a player with 15 Grand Slam titles, and one that many consider to be the greatest women’s player of all time. It’s what makes Stephens’ triumph a game-changer.
The Marketing Arm, which provides brands with consumer affinity and perceptions of athletes and celebrities, kindly provided newly surveyed numbers for Stephens on the Davie-Brown Index, which measures a celebrity’s marketability.
- Endorsement: 585th (comps: Matt Kemp, Taylor Lautner, Ty Burrell, Queen Latifah, Curtis Granderson, Jeremy Lin)
- Aspiration 434th (comps: Ray Rice, Mark Wahlberg, Maria Menounos, CC Sabathia, Alicia Keys)
- Breakthrough 587th (comps: Clay Matthews, Danica Patrick, Tom Hardy, Michael B. Jordan)
- Influence 730th (comps: Curtis Granderson, Queen Latifah, Dwight Howard, Ed Helms, Tyra Banks)
Regardless of what she does the rest of the way, you can expect Stephens, who turns 20 in March, to make the rounds of all the major late night talk shows. Her immediate future and tennis schedule will be dissected ad nauseum. And you can rest assured that she will soon be visiting 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
After all, an American woman is in the semifinal of a Grand Slam — and that just doesn’t happen very often.