Sports marketing

UPK publishes dissertation from Jim Host, UK alumnus and college sports marketing pioneer

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 27, 2020) – It’s safe to say that many Kentuckians and college athletic fans are no strangers to the Jim Host name. In his new book, “Changing the Game,” written with Eric A. Moyen and published by University Press of Kentucky, Host details his entrepreneurial career in sports marketing.

In “Changing the Game,” Host, a former student and baseball player at the University of Kentucky, describes his accomplishments in sports radio, management and broadcasting. As a pioneer in college sports marketing, Host is the Founder and CEO of Host Communications, a nationally recognized association marketing and management company located in Lexington.

Host Communications has managed the NCAA radio network for over a quarter of a century.

A 1961 graduate from the UK in the current College of Communication and Information, Host has often been the driving force behind innovation in college sports. He invented the concept of bundled licensing, encouraging partner companies to become official sponsors of sports programs in all media formats. The host and his team developed the NCAA radio network and introduced the NCAA Corporate Partner Program – employing companies such as Gillette, Valvoline, Coca-Cola and Pizza Hut to promote college athletic programs and the NCAA in general.

The book has already garnered positive reviews.

“Jim Host is an American icon whose work ethic, honesty and leadership have brought him unprecedented success,” said Bob Vecchione, CEO of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. “It’s hard to imagine a former student-athlete who gave more to the intercollegiate business than to Host. This is a must read for anyone with professional aspirations in the athletic industry.”

This memoir is Host’s first comprehensive account of his professional life, including his time in minor league baseball, real estate, politics, and the insurance industry. Following his Wildcat career, Host oversaw the construction of the Lexington Civic Center and Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center, Kentucky Horse Park, and KFC Yum! Center.

The University Press of Kentucky is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing a consortium that includes all state universities, five private colleges, and two historical societies. The editorial program of the press focuses on the human and social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and press marketing departments are located at the University of Kentucky, which provides financial support for the running costs of the publishing operation.