STARKVILLE, Miss.—A Mississippi State department head in the College of Education is the co-author of a new book that chronicles the rise of collegiate sports marketing and tells the story of a major industry entrepreneur.
Published last month by University Press of Kentucky, “Changing the Game: My Career in Collegiate Sports Marketing,” is co-authored by Eric Moyen, associate professor and head of MSU’s Department of Educational Leadership, alongside Jim Host, founder and CEO of Host Communications.
“Changing the Game” details Host’s life and career as leader of a company that became a pioneer in the college sports marketing industry. Host’s company was the first to introduce the idea of “bundled rights” for sponsorships of individual university sports programs, leading to a revenue boom for athletic programs while allowing university presidents to leverage athletics to promote higher education.
The book, available now, is ranked among Amazon’s best sellers in the sports industry category. Moyen previously authored “Frank L. McVey and the University of Kentucky: A Progressive President and the Modernization of a Southern University,” also published by University Press of Kentucky.
“I wrote this book with Jim because I research university leadership and policy from a historical perspective, and I have learned that college presidents have to spend considerable time and attention on athletic matters,” Moyen said. “I also knew that Jim Host was a leader, and his entrepreneurship truly altered the financial landscape of intercollegiate athletics.”
Host helped transform the NCAA basketball tournament by introducing corporate partnerships, which allowed corporations to promote the tournament and their products at the same time. This model helped make “March Madness” the primary revenue generator for the NCAA. At its zenith, Host Communications Inc. managed sports marketing for nearly 30 big-time athletic programs, including Mississippi State. Among other topics, the new book includes details on Host’s interactions with former MSU President Donald W. Zacharias and Athletic Director Larry Templeton about expanding the “brand” of MSU athletics. IMG purchased Host Communications Inc. in 2008.
“This book is particularly timely because of the current name, image and likeness debates across the country. If someone wants to understand how universities have arrived at this juncture, Jim Host’s story provides an important piece of context,” Moyen said.
“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 venture into Kentucky politics, including his appointments under Kentucky governors Louie B. Nunn and Ernie Fletcher. The book provides a behind-the-scenes look at the growth of big-time athletics and offers solutions for current challenges facing college sports.
Moyen earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana’s Taylor University in 1996 in social studies education, his master’s degree in U.S. history from the University of Alabama in 1998, and his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in educational policy studies with a concentration in higher education in 2004.
Established in 1903, MSU’s College of Education is home to six academic departments, one research unit and numerous service units. For more, visit www.educ.msstate.edu.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.