It shouldn’t have been such a big story.

But because one’s sexual orientation is a hot button in America, and because professional sports is well behind the social tide in the acceptance of gays in the workplace, Jason Collins’ coming out as the first openly gay active male athlete in a major team sport was a monumental event.

It not only turned a largely-unknown, lower-tier NBA player into a household name, hero and role model, it may have also turned him into a highly bankable commodity. With the buying power of the LGBT demographic estimated at nearly $800 million, there’s no shortage of companies that may be interested in linking their brands to Collins’ aura.