Many Kentuckians and fans of intercollegiate athletics are familiar with the name Jim Host. As founder and CEO of Host Communications, he was the pioneer in college sports marketing. Host’s most lasting innovation in collegiate sports was the concept of bundled licensing, which encouraged corporate partners to become official sponsors of athletic programs across media formats. Host and his team developed the NCAA Radio Network and introduced what became known as the NCAA’s Corporate Partner Program, which employed companies such as Gillette, Valvoline, Pepsi, and Pizza Hut to promote university athletic programs and the NCAA at large. Host was involved with the construction of Rupp Arena, the Kentucky Horse Park, and the KFC Yum! Center. But few know his full story.
Changing the Game is the first complete account of the entrepreneur’s professional life, detailing his achievements in sports radio, management, and broadcasting; his time in minor league baseball, real estate, and the insurance business; and his foray into Kentucky politics, including his appointments under governors Louie B. Nunn and Ernie Fletcher. This memoir provides a behind-the-scenes look at the growth of big-time athletics and offers solutions for current challenges facing college sports.