Texas A&M VP Cook Named "International Brand Master" By Educational Marketing Group

Texas A&M VP Cook Named "International Brand Master" By Educational Marketing

PR Newswire

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Feb. 28, 2013

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jason Cook,
vice president for marketing and communications at Texas A&M University, has
been named "2012 International Brand Master" by Educational Marketing
Group(EMG), a Colorado-based international brand-managing firm.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120502/DC99584LOGO)

"Jason Cook has managed to reinvent and reinvigorate the Texas A&M brand,
while staying consistent and paying homage to the traditions that make the
university such a unique institution," noted EMG in announcing that Cook won
the award for a variety of accomplishments that came to fruition last year,
including the university's move to the Southeastern Conference (SEC). "Perhaps
the most telling demonstration of Jason's talent is his work unifying both
Texas A&M's academics and athletics brands, an effort that has presented a
united front during a time when the university has had more national exposure
than ever before," the EMG officials added in their announcement.

Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin joined in congratulating Cook and his
team. "I'm delighted to see Mr. Cook be so prominently recognized for his
leadership in elevating the Texas A&M brand and helping make the rest of the
world know what we take for granted here in Aggieland — that Texas A&M is a
top-flight institution and is rapidly achieving even more prominenceboth
nationally and internationally," Loftin said. "Thus, I join with others in the
Aggie Network in congratulating him and his team for outstanding work on
behalf of our university."

Cook has headed Texas A&M's marketing and communications programs for the past
five years. He previously served in similar capacities for the Texas A&M
Engineering Extension Service and Texas A&M Agriculture, which includes the
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. He began his career in athletic media
relations at Mississippi State University, his alma mater, and subsequently
served as an assistant vice president for Birmingham-based HealthSouth
Corporation, which was once the nation's largest provider of sports medicine
and healthcare services.

He said his selection as the "2012 International Brand Master" is a high honor
– for him personally and, even more so, for Texas A&M.

"While my name is on the award, it is the result of a team effort reflecting
the effective and dedicated work of the entire Division of Marketing &
Communications," Cook said. "It was gratifying, indeed, to be a part of the
effort where so many people pulled together to strengthen the Texas A&M brand
and make the university even better known for all the right reasons."

EMG President Bob Brock cited Cook's "combination of critical thinking and
tactical skills" as major factors in his selection for the prestigious award.
"We are thrilled and honored that a professional of the caliber of Jason Cook
has been named the 2012 International Brand Master," Brock said. "Mr. Cook has
had an outstanding impact on the venerable Texas A&M brand, and his
combination of strategic thinking and tactical skill inspires us all." The
initial field for the award included 15 "exceptional nominees," according to
the EMG announcement, with nominees from England, Australia and Belgium among
them. A "blue-ribbon" panel of volunteer international judges narrowed the
pool to three finalists, with Cook the ultimate winner. Nominees were asked to
provide responses to numerous specific questions related to their brand's
strategy and tactics and to provide results as well as furnish several letters
of support from their colleagues.

In response to the judges' request, Cook provided the following overview as
part of the competition process:

"While Texas A&M is one of the nation's largest and most prestigious
universities, our brand was not widely known across the country and the
institution was perceived much like it was in the 1970s: a regional, all-male
military institution, not the thriving, top-20 research university that it is
today. Recognizing that athletics is the 'front porch' of a university –
providing an opportunity to reach millions of people each Saturday in the fall
– I worked directly with the University's President and Board of Regents to
initiate a focused plan in 2011 that would increase the visibility of the
Texas A&M brand across the country. This effort culminated with Texas A&M
leaving the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference on July 1, 2012.
While many ascribed different motives for our departure from the Big 12 and
fueled many detractors and skeptics, our plan had three primary objectives:
increase the exposure for our student-athletes and coaches, as well as for our
world-class faculty and their research; create new revenue streams in the form
of TV payouts, licensing, sponsorships, philanthropy and ticket sales; and
provide long-term stability for the Texas A&M brand in a period of significant
athletic conference upheaval. The SEC is widely recognized as the nation's
top athletic conference, and through its extensive media partnerships with
ESPN and CBS, the national exposure generated by the league is unparalleled.
The SEC move allowed us to introduce the Texas A&M brand to an entirely new
geographic region of the country and expand the national footprint of the
brand. What's more, the SEC's media platform played a significant role in our
campaign for Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel to become the first freshman
to win the Heisman Trophy. Today, because of these efforts, Texas A&M is
widely recognized as one of the hottest college brands in the country."

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SOURCE Texas A&M University

Contact: Lane Stephenson, News & Information Services, at +1-979-845-4662 or
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