When George Foster took a job as a sports writer at the Waco-Tribune Herald after graduating from North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas), he never imagined that 12 years later he would start his own media communications company. Foster credits the university for preparing him for success. “The push for excellence is what I think is best from UNT,” he said.
Today, Foster is chief executive officer at Foster Marketing in Houston, Texas – a business he started in August 1980 that focuses on oil and gas marketing. His company has offices in Houston, Lafayette, Louisiana, and London in the United Kingdom, with clients all over the world. Foster is also a certified business communicator.
Foster wanted to become a sports writer but his interests turned to marketing and public relations after he met a sports information director his freshman year at Trinity College in San Antonio. “I asked him how do you do this job and he said you have to major in journalism,” Foster said.
Foster took the SID’s advice and enrolled at NTSU, where he majored in journalism. Foster was soon covering sports for the school newspaper and eventually became its sports editor.
Following graduation and six months after joining the Waco Tribune-Herald, Foster changed jobs and became sports information director at East Texas State University, now known as Texas A&M Commerce.
During that time Foster created a radio network of five stations in East Texas to promote sports. He said he learned to be innovative. “Even though we were small school, I thought we could do big time things – and we did.”
Two years later, in September 1974, Foster was hired by Texas Tech University as assistant sports information director. There, he traveled a great deal promoting the school’s sports teams, often meeting with members of the press. “I honed my skills and also had my own radio show in Lubbock.”
In September 1976, Foster moved on to the University of Southwestern Louisiana, where he was the sports information director for four years. In 1980, Foster decided to leave his job because he needed a change. “I had nothing lined up … but I knew what I wanted to do and thought there was an opportunity for an ad agency.”
Foster took his expertise and people skills and opened his own business while never looking back. Today, Foster Marketing is the world’s largest oil and gas marketing communications firm. “I had a lot of confidence in myself and faith … I just knew what I wanted to do.”
Foster’s philosophy includes giving back to the community. He has served on several boards of directors, including the Houston Business Marketing Association and the Acadiana Advertising Federation.
In 2004, the AAF recognized Foster with its Silver Medal Award for Excellence in the field of advertising. In 2009, the Houston chapter of the BMA honored Foster with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Vic Cherubini, president of EPIC Software and a BMA member, believes Foster is a marketing genius. “He can take an idea that is just a germ and turn it into a full fledge marketing program,” Cherubini said.
Foster believes in growing the next generation of marketers and public relations professionals. He started the Foster Marketing Endowed Journalism Scholarship at the University of North Texas that today awards two scholarships. He also sits on the Mayborn School of Journalism board of advisors and serves as its vice chairman.
Foster credits his mentors and his passion for his success. “You have to be lucky, smart and have good people around you,” he said. He and his wife, Bonnie, live in Sugarland, Texas; they have three adult children.