With more than 200,000 Texas A&M University graduates now in the workforce, and with increasingly more of them proving themselves to be entrepreneurs or advancing up the leadership chain, their alma mater is launching a new business venture to help them. It’s called “Aggie Owned and Operated” and kicks off Thursday (May 19) in Houston, with the first participant being an insurance firm owner who was a member of the 12th Man Kickoff Team that has become part of Aggie football lore.
Texas A&M is partnering in the marketing venture with two key Aggie entities: The Association of Former Students, its alumni organization that assists the university in a variety of ways and operates the Aggie Network to link worldwide with former students, and “TexAgs,” an Aggie-owned and operated web-based news service that focuses on Texas A&M athletic, academic and administrative activities. Both groups have partnered to create the Maroon Book by TexAgs, which is an online listing of Aggie Owned and Operated businesses.
Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin is scheduled to be on hand for the 2 p.m. “Aggie Owned and Operated” unveiling at the Barhorst Insurance Group, LTD at 8220 Jones Road in Houston. The firm is owned and operated by Warren Barhorst, a 1988 Texas A&M industrial distribution graduate who was an early member of the 12th Man Kickoff Team. The 12th Man Team was created by then Head Coach Jackie Sherrill, who each year recruited 12 non-athletic-scholarship Aggies from the student body to play when the team kicked off to opponents to start a game or after a score. The 12th Man Team proved to be both highly popular and effective.
Jason Cook, Texas A&M’s vice president for marketing and communications, said the “Aggie Owned and Operated” program is intended to aid Aggies in business as well as the university.
“The Aggie Owned and Operated program allows Texas A&M to engage with businesses across the state of Texas and tap into the passion that exists through our former students,” Cook noted. “When patrons walk into an Aggie Owned and Operated business, they will know that their experience will be based on Texas A&M’s core values – that they will have an excellent experience and will be treated with the highest levels of integrity and respect. We also see this program as being an excellent entry point to a more extensive relationship with Texas A&M, either through athletic sponsorships, sponsored research agreements or scholarship contributions.”
TexAgs.com President Brandon Jones joined in praising the new program.
“Aggie Owned and Operated is an exciting new program allowing Aggie businesses the chance to affiliate with the core values and traditions of Texas A&M University,” the Jones said. “I believe that Aggies appreciate doing business with other Aggies because of their shared connections and experiences. AO&O is the perfect way to show other Aggies, and the world, that your business represents what is best about Texas A&M and its former students.”
Cook cited the key reasons why “Aggie Owned and Operated” is good for Aggies and for the public at large:
• Creates an automatic association between an Aggie’s business and the values and reputation of Texas A&M in the minds of customers
• Increases the reach of an Aggie’s business with an affiliation to Texas A&M through a unique Aggie Owned and Operated marketing bundle
• Allows other Aggies to search for an Aggie business online through MaroonBook and The Association of Former Students database
Aggies who participate in the Aggie Owned and Operated program receive:
• Exclusive rights to publicly affiliate their business with Texas A&M for a full year through the Aggie Owned and Operated marketing bundle, which includes a 2' x 4' banner, a table tent, a window cling and access to the Aggie Owned and Operated logo for online use.
• A business listing through MaroonBook.com so that they can start more efficiently and effective reaching the Aggie Network.
More MaroonBook information is available at: