After playing an integral role in Nashville-based indie folk trio, Judah and the Lion’s growth, from playing coffee shops to selling out Red Rocks Amphitheater, Ben Hutto has gone from artist manager to Director of Brands and Partnerships at Triple 8 Management, located in Nashville, TN.
Ben met Judah and his band mates at Belmont University in 2012. After hanging out with the band in the studio, he knew he wanted to be involved in their career. The band won a major music competition at Belmont University later that year, leaving Ben with a handful of business cards from music executives asking to have lunch. He knew at that moment Judah and the Lion had a promising road ahead.
My personal opinion on Ben’s success is probably first and foremost due to his ability to make people feel important and celebrated. I met Ben several years ago at a cool restaurant in Nashville. I had cold called him, told him I was from the town that Judah Akers was from and that I was trying to learn about the music industry. Having no real connections other than that, Ben made time for me, an eager entrepreneur that loved music. That’s the kind of person Ben Hutto is. He’s been a mentor and friend to me as I’ve grown my local talent agency, Leaning Tree.
Upon his promotion with Triple 8 Management, Paul Steel, Triple 8 Executive Partner says this about Ben, “Ben has a knack for treating people well and creating mutually beneficial opportunities. That skillset made him naturally successful in facilitating Judah and the Lion’s brand deals; and with brand and sync relationships being a key part in keeping our company successful through the pandemic, we had the chance to transition him into this new, expanded role very organically.”
Ben has excelled at finding and securing brand and sponsor deals, with Triple 8 clients recently landing partnerships with EA Sports, Samsung, Microsoft, Shell, Citibank, Bud Light, ESPN, Journeys, Chipotle, Pizza Hut, Ford, Southwest Airlines, and Wild Turkey, among others.
The staff at Triple 8 Management pride themselves on offering artists holistic support to build a brand beyond the life cycle of any individual music release, particularly as one of few management companies that constantly pitches brand and sync opportunities directly on behalf of their clients; a growth area that Hutto’s leadership has been key in developing. “We love turning what may seem like one-off opportunities into career pillars for artists,” notes Ben.
Major successes in this area include Judah and the Lion penning the Nashville SE theme song that plays in-stadium before every home game as well as Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors’ songs being featured in multiple award-winning ad campaigns - ranging from “The Hoop” for Dick’s Sporting Goods to TNT’s Emmy award-winning “NBA Forever” spot, dubbed “the greatest NBA commercial of all time” by Bleacher Report - among many others.
On June 6th, Ben will speak with us on branding yourself as an artist. “Stay on brand, know your brand and stick to it and the opportunities will come.” In 2017, Judah and the Lion had opportunities to open for Switchfoot and Need to Breathe. Under Ben’s direction, the guys turned down that opportunity because it wasn’t on brand. Some might think that was too risky. But it opened the door for an even bigger opportunity - an opening spot with Twenty One Pilots on their Emotional Roadshow World Tour. That’s what good branding sense and strategy can do for an artist.
We’ll see you all on June 6th! Don’t forget to click the blue button to sign up to play your original music at The Collective!