Host gets another honor

Published 10:24 am Monday, February 26, 2018

Ashland native and University of Kentucky alumnus Jim Host has added another achievement to his already impressive list of lifetime accomplishments: The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Saturday that Host is one of two winners of a 2018 John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award.

Host founded Host Communications in 1972, and he started the first collegiate corporate marketing program with the NCAA in 1985. Host grew up in Ashland. He attended UK?on a full scholarship. A press release from The Basketball Hall of Fame said in 1975, Host secured groundbreaking NCAA broadcasting rights which led to a lucrative business relationship that spanned decades and the development and implementation of the first collegiate corporate marketing programs in 1985.

After recognizing inconsistencies in universities teams’ media and marketing rights, Host Communications partnered with the NCAA to create the NCAA Corporate Partner Program, transforming the way universities utilize media and naming rights, marketing, entertainment, fan engagement, and other assets, the Hall of Fame said. With this streamlined approach, Host Communications represented multimedia assets for over 90 universities, conferences, and venues.

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This is hardly the first time Host has been recognized for his accomplishments. He is a member of multiple distinguished alumnus groups and is a member of the UK Athletics Hall of Fame.

On the eve of the start of another “March Madness,” it is only fitting that Jim Host is being recognized for the pivotal role he played in making the Division I college basketball the big-money sport it is today. Simply put, without ever playing a single gamer of college basketball, Jim Host forever changed the game and how it marketed.

The Daily Independent of Ashland