2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Building Brands in the New Heartland

#sxsw #heartland

“Branding” has become a ubiquitous term that many people use, but few understand…let alone, know ways to build one. Brands and artists need each other more than ever. These relationships must be crafted in a way that authentically protects and enhances both brands. This highly interactive session will define the meaning of a brand and give practical ways to build one.

The panel of branding pros includes Frank Cooper, CMO of Global Consumer Engagement at Pepsi, and Gannon Jones, Head of Brand Marketing at MillerCoors. Paul’s Nashville-based consumer engagement agency, Access Brand Strategies, helps clients build brands in the New Heartland, home to 60% of US consumers. His agency has helped many major brands and artists create successful relationships. For example, Beyonce/Verizon, Lipton/Lady Antebellum, Mountain Dew/Jason Aldean, and Pepsi/Blake Shelton, to name a few.



Paul Jankowski

Chief Strategist

Access Brand Strategies

Paul Jankowski is Chief Strategist at Access Brand Strategies and a contributing writer to Forbes.com. ABS provides branding/consumer engagement services for clients including Pepsi, Tractor Supply Co, Lipton, Mountain Dew and Fedex.

ABS is the leading expert in helping brands build deep relationships with the 60% of US consumers living in the “new” Heartland. Jankowski’s book, “How to Speak American: Building Brands in the New Heartland,” is the foundation for this new Heartland strategy.

Prior to ABS, Jankowski served as Chief Marketing Officer for Elvis Presley Enterprises and oversaw all aspects of global brand development. Jankowski and his team executed many new initiatives which contributed to the biggest revenue gain to date. Programs included: Music and Movies featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr., the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, a new e-commerce platform, and the redesign of Elvis.com.

Jankowski held senior marketing positions with HOST Communications and SFX Entertainment (Live Nation) where he worked with clients such as Volkswagen, Ford Motor Co., Warner-Lambert, Reebok and MCI.

He has also created promotions for: Beyonce, Evander Holyfield, Nelly, Reba, Vince Gill, Elton John, Tom Petty, B.B. King, Mary J. Blige and Meatloaf, among others.

In addition, Jankowski was the Director of Entertainment Relations/Worldwide for Gibson Guitar Corp. He served as regional pop promotion manager for MCA Records – Los Angeles and SBK Records-New York, in the company’s Nashville office.

Jankowski is a graduate of the 1995 Leadership Music (Nashville). He also earned his NFL Agent certification. He graduated from the University of Tennessee/Knoxville with a degree in Advertising and served as marketing manager for Thompson-Boling Arena.

Jankowski was co-founder and chairman of the T. J. Martell Foundation for Cancer research for 9 years.


Gannon Jones

VP Brand Mktg



Bruce Kalmick


Triple 8 Management

Bruce Kalmick, with business partner George Couri, oversee all aspects of business at Triple 8 Management in both the Austin, TX, and the Nashville, TN, offices. Triple 8 is one of the fastest growing and most successful new management companies in music.

Triple 8 focuses a large amount of time and energy in the Country/Americana genre with the Eli Young Band (Republic), Joe Nichols (Red Bow), Josh Abbott Band (WMN/Atlantic), Chase Rice (TBD), Sam Hunt (MCA), Whiskey Myers (Wiggy Thump), The Cadillac Three (Big Machine Records Group), Kevin Fowler and Jack Ingram; while more recently expanding into Alternative and Pop with artists like The Wind and The Wave (RCA), & emerging pop singer/songwriter, Macy Maloy (Warner Chappell),

Previously, Kalmick co-founded KB Talent in 2005 and became a leading booking agency in the Texas/Red Dirt music scene. He transitioned to full-time management in 2008 with his own company, Ambiance Artists, before merging with Couri’s Triple 8 Management in December 2012.

Some of Triple 8’s greatest strengths lie in the hyper-focused grass roots marketing efforts that Kalmick has integrated into the day-to-day activities of the 23-person staff. A true full service management company; covering radio, tour marketing, general marketing, branding, merchandising, digital strategy, and an 8-person day-to-day team are always looking to break the typical mold of “artists management.” In addition, Kalmick and the T8 staff have been responsible for leading multiple indie album launches for various acts and selling nearly 500,000 albums in the last five years.

Kalmick graduated from Texas State University in 2004. He is based at Triple 8’s headquarters in Austin, TX, and resides in Lakeway, TX, with his beautiful wife and 17-month-old son.

Thanks to our sponsors

Miller Lite Monster Energy Esurance Chevrolet AT&T IFC Subway Austin Chronicle

Music sponsor

Sonic Bids

Interactive sponsors

Deloitte American Express Pennzoil