Brandon Jones '95
In autumn 1998, a major transformation occurred in me. Just as Sirr Parker crossed over the goal line to give Texas A&M the Big 12 Football Championship win against top-ranked Kansas State in double overtime, I converted from faithful Aggie fan to obsessed Aggie fan.
That fall, Saturday nights were spent rehashing the games with friends. One of them mentioned a website called TexAgs with message boards where fans discussed Texas A&M sports and recruiting. I began to pore over message boards late at night, waiting in anticipation for usernames “Hop” and “Liucci” to appear with updated news on Aggie recruiting.
Who would have imagined that a few years later I’d be working alongside David Sandhop ’87 and Billy Liucci ’98 (the aforementioned “Hop” and “Liucci”) as CEO of TexAgs.com, an independent media company and one of the largest online collegiate sports communities with more than 10,000 monthly subscribers?
The message boards are still there, but TexAgs now also includes a daily radio program, a creative video department and a strong editorial staff. TexAgs is the premier media source for Texas A&M athletics and a recognized leader in the growing collegiate fan site industry.
We got an enormous dose of validation in 2006 when former university President Robert Gates revealed that he was a TexAgs subscriber who posted under the username “ranger65.” Indeed, TexAgs has matured from a site once accused of publishing unconfirmed rumors to a respected media organization.
To guide that transition, I drew from philosophies I developed while earning my business management degree at Texas A&M. As an undergraduate, I was drawn to organizational behavior classes and particularly to studies about how organizations were run in the 1800s, like Carnegie Steel Co. I loved learning about how these entities evolved over time, moving more and more toward empowering and motivating employees.
My general takeaway from Mays Business School was that successful businesses are less about products and processes and more about people. I’m a big believer in this idea.
At TexAgs, we’ve put together a staff of talented people who excel in specialized areas, something many sites in our industry lack.
Of course, many sites don’t have the support of the Texas A&M fan base either.
Aggies feel an affinity for their school and for each other that goes unmatched by any other institution. TexAgs as it exists today is the product of a talented staff and a unique Aggie trait—the desire to stay connected with the university and other former students. We’re proud to provide an outlet that inspires community, networking and good old-fashioned fun.
TexAgs has been referred to as a place to meet 50,000 of your closest friends to discuss Texas A&M and Aggie sports. On National Signing Day this year, we had more than 4 million page views from 100,000 visitors.