Born in Kane, Pennsylvania, on November 23, 1937. Founder of Printing and Broadcast Corporation. University of Kentucky, B.S., 1961.
Forming a sports marketing and association management firm in 1972, Jim Host is now president and chief executive officer of Universal Sports America and Host Communications Inc., nationally renowned for its expertise in marketing services to universities, conferences and national associations. In 1995, the firm merged with Streetball Partners and then, four years later, with Bull Run Corporation.
His initial clients were the National Tour Association, the premier packaged travel association in North America, and the University of Kentucky Department of Athletics. Through expansion of those contractual relationships, HCI today works with the NCAA, the National Federation of State High School Associations, and many universities, athletic conferences and state high school coaching and trade associations nationally. Host has represented the NCAA since 1976 and created the NCAA Corporate Partners Program, which was the first affinity marketing effort in professional amateur sports in 1986. HCI has offices in Dallas, Lexington and New York City.
His first business ventures were real estate and insurance firms established in the mid-1960s. At age 29, he became the youngest person to serve on Kentucky Gov. Louis Nunn’s cabinet as, first, commissioner of public information and then, commissioner of parks. He won the Republican Party’s nomination for lieutenant governor in 1971, but lost in the general election.
He has served on numerous professional, civic and charitable boards of directors, including the National Basketball Hall of Fame executive committee, the National Park Advisory Board and the Freedom Foundation. In 1998 he was named Kentucky’s Entrepreneur of the Year and received a lifetime achievement award from the National Association of Collegiate Marketers.
W. James Host was inducted into the University of Kentucky Hall of Distinguished Alumni on May 19, 2000.