SBD/October 11, 2013/Colleges

Sumlin Transforms Texas A&M Brand, Establishing Itself Nationally

Sumlin added music and smoke when his Texas A&M team comes out of the tunnel
Texas A&M in its second year of SEC membership has "taken full advantage of establishing its brand, not only regionally, but nationally," according to Sam Khan Jr. of ESPN.com. While the exposure that comes with being in the SEC "helps, winning football games helps quite a bit too." It appears the school "has been successful" in changing the way it is perceived, "especially on the football side of things." Coach Kevin Sumlin "helped change the culture around A&M football in several ways," including "changing the team entrance to add music and smoke as the team comes out of the tunnel before home games." Texas A&M Senior Associate AD/External Affairs Jason Cook said of Sumlin, "He's very plugged in helping shape how we want to present Texas A&M. I think he really has a pulse on the things that are important to Texas A&M, but also the things that he can tweak around the edges." The football program has its own website and "social content hub" called "AggieFBLife." The website, run by FusionSports, helps "provide a unique, insider view into Texas A&M football." Players are "documented by a videographer that has complete access to all aspects of A&M football and the initiative is unique for a major college football program" (ESPN.com, 10/9).

PIECE OF THE ACTION: ESPN.com’s Khan noted Texas A&M “will sell pallets of the natural grass playing surface” at Kyle Field. The grass will be “removed at the conclusion of this season as part of the Kyle Field redevelopment project.” The pallets “will go for $400 apiece, while a limited number of single grass squares will be available for $20 each” (ESPN.com, 10/10).
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