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Changing the GameMy Career in Collegiate Sports Marketing$
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Jim Host

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813179551

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813179551.001.0001

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My Last Great Pitch for the NCAA

My Last Great Pitch for the NCAA

(p.169) 12 My Last Great Pitch for the NCAA
Changing the Game

Jim Host

Eric A. Moyen

University Press of Kentucky

After successfully implementing the concept with individual universities, Host approached NCAA president Ced Dempsey about a “bundled rights” package for all NCAA media rights and marketing. Host met with CBS executive Sean McManus and offered more than $5 billion for an eleven-year NCAA tournament deal. Host would publish the print programs for the tournament, operate the radio network, and sell corporate sponsorships. A long saga ensued. The NCAA originally balked at the proposal, and then CBS decided to shut Host out of the deal in favor of International Sport and Leisure (ISL). Even so, Host agreed to give up the remaining contractual rights for the NCAA basketball tournament. When CBS’s deal with ISL fell through, Host brokered a new contract with the network. Host’s team then worked closely with Coca-Cola executives (including Don Keough, Chuck Fruit, Scott McCune, and Steve Heyer) to create a record-setting sponsorship. When completed, the $500 million deal made Coca-Cola the NCAA’s first “corporate champion” and set a new standard for college sports marketing.

Keywords:   Cedric Dempsey, Sean McManus, CBS Sports, International Sport and Leisure, Coca-Cola, Don Keough, Chuck Fruit, Scott McCune, Steve Heyer, NCAA corporate champion

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