Campus News

UPK Releases Memoir of UK Alum and Collegiate Sports Marketing Pioneer Jim Host

Cover detail of "Changing the Game"

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 27, 2020) — It’s safe to say that many Kentuckians and collegiate athletic fans are no stranger to the name Jim Host. In his new book, “Changing the Game,” written with Eric A. Moyen and published by the 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 achievements in sports radio, management and broadcasting. As a pioneer in college sports marketing, Host is the founder and CEO of Host Communications, a nationally renowned marketing and association management firm located in Lexington. 

Host Communications ran the NCAA radio network for more than a quarter of a century.

A 1961 graduate of UK from what is now the College of Communication and Information, Host has frequently been the driving force of innovation in collegiate sports. He invented the concept of bundled licensing, encouraging corporate partners to become official sponsors of athletic programs across media formats. Host and his team developed the NCAA Radio Network and introduced the NCAA’s Corporate Partner Program — employing companies such as Gillette, Valvoline, Coca-Cola and Pizza Hut to promote university athletic programs and the NCAA at-large.

The book has already accumulated positive reviews.

"Jim Host is an American icon whose work ethic, honesty, and leadership brought him unparalleled success,” said Bob Vecchione, CEO of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. “It's hard to imagine any former student-athlete who has given back more to the intercollegiate enterprise than Host. This is a must-read for anyone with career aspirations in sports business."

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

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

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.