Chron.com posted an article yesterday about how Texas A&M bought the domain name 12thMan.com from a Tennessee businessman Eric Arnold.
Arnold said he was prohibited from disclosing the purchase price but is pleased to pass along the website to the Aggies.
Eric Arnold, from Knoxville, started his football-oriented marketing business in 1993, he selected what he thought was a logical company name – 12th Man Distribution. In 2000 (The article states that Eric Arnold bought the website in 1996 but that is not correct. The domain was used until 2000 as what seems like an unofficial Texas A&M website) the domain name 12thMan.com dropped and because it happened to be available, Arnold acquired the website to promote his company – 12thMan.com.
“Arnold’s company rocked along for two decades before ceasing operations earlier this year, and on Monday it was announced he has sold the 12thMan.com website to Texas A&M University, which will use the site as its new athletics homepage.”
“Texas A&M had approached me a while back about acquiring that domain name, and since I wasn’t operating it any more for my business purposes, I felt strongly that they would be a good owner of the brand to continue it,” he said.
“Texas A&M has been in the midst of an aggressive legal campaign to defend its 12th Man trademark. The university has lodged complaints and threatened action against a group that includes a double amputee and cancer survivor who co-founded the site 12thManThunder.com promoting efforts to keep the Bills in Buffalo.”
“Arnold’s 12th Man Distribution worked in consulting and sales, and the website operated as a portal for the Fanatics.com website, which sells sports equipment and memorabilia, including Texas A&M-branded merchandise.”
“While A&M has taken considerable flak from critics, including ESPN host Keith Olbermann’s designation of interim president Keith Hussey “and everybody at that school” as the Worst Person in the Sports World, for its threats of legal action against Bills fan Charles “Chuckie” Sonntag over the 12thManThunder.com website, Arnold said his negotiations with Texas A&M for 12thMan.com went well.”
“They were great to work with, and I’m happy. The (website name) has got a good home,” he said. “It’s been my baby for a long time, and I’m glad it’s going to someone who will take care of it.”