Texas Paper Gambles and Wins On Aggies Upset

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The Eagle of Bryan, Texas, scored big last weekend when it gambled on local Texas A&M’s upsetting the top ranked team in college football, the University of Oklahoma.

At halftime of a then-tied game, The Eagle printed 10,000 copies of a four-page wrap to distribute right after the game — if the hometown Aggies won — with the front page head, “A&M Knocks Off Number One Sooners.” Otherwise, The Eagle, and not the section’s sole advertiser, would have eaten about $3,000 in costs.

But A&M came through with a 30-26 win, and afterward the paper moved the 10,000 copies in about 20 minutes. “I can understand now how a newspaper feels when someone wins the Super Bowl in their town,” said Lorenzo Vigliante, the paper’s circulation director who helped conceive the idea.

The next day the paper distributed an additional 12,000 copies of the special issue in their regular Sunday edition. “There’s no way this could’ve worked without the team work of editorial, advertising, production, and circulation,” Vigliante said.

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