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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Behind the Barstool

Photo courtesy of Luke Evangelist

Marketing Senior Luke Evangelist reflects on his time as A&M’s Barstool Admin.

As a direct affiliate of Barstool Sports, a popular sports and pop culture blog, Barstool A&M is a social media page on both Instagram and Twitter that posts anything related to Texas A&M. Over the course of a year, Barstool A&M has grown in significant following and engagement due to its social media admin’s mission to provide the community with the best A&M-related content.

Traditionally, a current university student holds the role of Barstool social media admin and posts content related to their school. Marketing senior and former Barstool A&M admin from May 2022 to May 2023, Luke Evangelist, said his goal was to showcase areas of A&M beyond football.

“I feel A&M deserves an account that will show you everything about A&M,” Evangelist said. “I think we get focused on only football as the main thing that goes on here, but there are so many incredible things that happen on this campus that not enough people care about. I wanted to get people to care about these things with this account and also post funny videos here and there to keep students entertained.”
There is a common misconception that there is an application process to become a Barstool A&M social media admin, but that is not the case, Evangelist said.

“A lot of people assume that you have to apply to do it, but it’s really about who you know and who knows you,” Evangelist said. “Passing along the account is a good example of the A&M community and looking out for each other.”
Barstool A&M currently has 118,000 followers on Instagram, making the account the third-highest followed SEC Barstool account behind Barstool Alabama and Georgia. The page also has over 25,000 more followers than Barstool Longhorn, the University of Texas’s Barstool account, which was not the case when Evangelist first took over the account.

“When I took over the account, the t.u. page had more followers than us, and we weren’t even in the top five SEC Barstool accounts,” Evangelist said. “It’s crazy to think about how much this platform has grown and will continue to grow. This is all possible because of A&M and how much we have going on. I couldn’t go more than five minutes without DMs to the account. It’s a real tribute to, one, how large the university is and, two, how passionate we are.”

Much of the accounts’ growth can be attributed to differentiating the account from others to reach its potential, Evangelist said.
“There is a whole team of Barstool affiliate accounts … while our job is to cover events at [our school] we also promote Barstool merchandise to receive a commission,” Evangelist said. “My goal was to affiliate this account more with A&M than Barstool. I think a lot of accounts miss out on their potential because they’re posting Barstool-like material rather than school and culture-like material.”

Evangelist said A&M’s Barstool page will continue to engage the student body because the page is centered around A&M rather than Barstool, unlike other schools.

“A lot of the success of this account is due to knowing the community and feeding them what they want,” Evangelist said. “Other school accounts get caught up in creating a Barstool page and that’s not necessarily what every college student wants to see.”

In summer 2022, Evangelist sparked a movement to rally the A&M community in gaining Waffle House’s attention to bring a restaurant to College Station. The trend attracted media attention and numerous followers for the Barstool A&M account. The initiative served as a memorable moment in addition to Pack Reed Propaganda, a movement that encouraged more students to attend A&M basketball games, Evangelist said.

“Waffle House felt like a fever dream because there’s nothing going on in the summer,” Evangelist said. “[The trend] started with one DM and all of a sudden we have 250,000 likes and it’s a crazy movement. I think my favorite memory though was Pack Reed Propaganda. The fact [that] we had a horrible football season made my life tough in the fall, so I had to get really creative in posting things outside of [football].”

Evangelist credits the men’s basketball team and the A&M community for making Pack Reed Propaganda a success.

“Thank God the team kept rolling and built on the momentum,” Evangelist said. “The games got louder and louder, and the memes got better and better. The crowd fed off the movement that I started. To end the [regular] season beating [Alabama] at the last home game was the happiest I’ve ever felt in my life because I got to play a part in getting people to watch that basketball season.”

Evangelist said his success running the account presented him with new opportunities. Previous admins ran the account until they graduated, but Evangelist retired from his position earlier than previous admins because he wanted the account to positively affect the next social media holder.

“A lot of people have had questions as to why I gave up the account early,” Evangelist said. “I loved that account and it changed my life, but I want the page to have the opportunity to change someone else’s life …  I don’t want anyone to think this account has changed because one person isn’t there anymore.”

No matter who runs Barstool A&M, the focus will always be on growing the spirit of A&M, Evangelist said.

“This account is so much bigger than me or anyone who has ever run it,” Evangelist said. “It’s about the community.”
To stay updated with Barstool A&M’s posts, visit its Instagram and Twitter.

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