COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M University has secured the rights to 12thMan.com as part of the institution’s ongoing, aggressive protection of its valued 12th Man trademark. Texas A&M’s storied 12th Man tradition began in 1922 as student E. King Gill stood on the sidelines ready to enter the Dixie Classic, and Texas A&M has maintained federal registration of the 12th Man trademark since 1990.
Texas A&M officials reached an agreement with the web domain’s previous owner, Mr. R. Eric Arnold of Knoxville, Tenn., for the transfer of ownership of 12thMan.com to the university effective June 30, 2014. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to reach an amicable agreement with Mr. Arnold in which Texas A&M will have full ownership of 12thMan.com,” said Shane Hinckley, Texas A&M’s interim vice president of marketing and communications, who also oversees the Office of Trademark Licensing. “This is a valuable piece of our 12th Man trademark inventory, and we intend to use this web domain to further the connection between Texas A&M and the 12th Man. It will also assist greatly in our trademark protection efforts in the online space.”
As a result of the agreement, the 12thMan.com web domain will now become the official home page for Texas A&M’s Athletics Department. “Home of the 12th Man” has been featured on the façade of Texas A&M’s football stadium, Kyle Field, for decades, and the 12th Man tradition will be showcased prominently in the current $450 million redevelopment of the facility. The 12th Man brand has also played a central role in Texas A&M’s recent transition into the Southeastern Conference.
“The 12th Man represents Texas A&M fans across all sports, not solely in football.” said Jason Cook, Texas A&M’s senior associate athletics director for external affairs. “We are excited to have ownership of 12thMan.com, as it will further our promotion and protection of one of the most valuable traditions and trademarks in sports today. This is a key piece of the puzzle of our brand strategy as we grow Texas A&M’s 12th Man, particularly across the web and in social media.”
Texas A&M Athletics’ current web domain, AggieAthletics.com, will continue to function during the transition to 12thMan.com. Texas A&M also intends to begin securing and utilizing the 12th Man brand across various social media platforms now that the university’s ownership of 12thMan.com has been finalized.
More about the 12th Man Tradition:
In 1922, Texas A&M played Centre College, and the Aggies suffered so many injuries in the first half that Coach Dana X. Bible had only 11 players. He called student E. King Gill out of the stands to suit up and stand by, ready to play if needed.
Although Gill didn't play, he was the last man — the 12th Man — standing on the sideline. He later said, "I simply stood by in case my team needed me." The Aggies won, and since that time, Aggies stand ready and willing to support their team to the point of actually entering the game.
The tradition was born out of the willingness to serve. This willing spirit has endured, and today the Aggie student body is known as the 12th Man: United in loyalty, united in support and united and ready to serve when they are called to.