Two guys from Louisville are shaking things up in the event management scene, bringing sponsorships to parties, sporting events and even music festivals.
Tyler Anderson, of the band A Lion Named Roar, and his friend Mike Brady, who is opening a new restaurant, Ostra, on Frankfort Avenue, are the duo who make up King Sixteen. They have both worked in event management of different kinds for many years, and they discovered that they worked well together to help clients connect with the best sponsors.
“We’ve found a really synergistic way of working together, and working with some amazing brands, and amazing people both on the local level,” Anderson said. “Working with Junior Bridgeman and his management has been huge, just being in this market and being able to bring that kind of national power to our local businesses, and people are doing incredible things here in Louisville.”
The pair believe that Louisville is an excellent market for their business and said they have no plans to leave for bigger markets. Anderson is from Brooks, Ky., in Bullitt County, and Brady is from Oldham County. “We got a little country boy in us but we’re well-traveled,” Brady said. “So we don’t sound like it.”
Anderson said Louisville is perfect for the company because it’s centrally located. “Louisville is one of the fastest-growing midmajor markets in the United States,” Anderson said. “There’s a lot of opportunity right now. We’re both from here. … We’ve been here our entire lives, as you can imagine, it just feels really natural to be here with the people that we know and how we can help elevate our community.”
While they’ve mostly focused on events, such as parties and galas, they are now working with some music festivals, including the Breakaway Festival, a large hip-hop fest, and Rock the South, a country music festival.
Festivals need a lot of money to cover expenses, and sponsorships with brands is what helps with that. King Sixteen will work with brands that fit the demographic for those festivals to get sponsorships, and they’ll even do the work on the ground to create VIP lounges or experiences on site for guests.
That makes the brand happy, they say, because it helps them reach their target demographics and it makes the festival happy because it brings in money. It makes guests happy because they get an extra-fun experience at the festival.
“Every deal is a little different,” Brady said. “Which is why we’re unique in this industry because we’re so versatile and our ability to custom tailor these opportunities and these activations. We fill holes where they need to be filled. We can create these opportunities and custom-fit these brands.”
They’ve met a lot of celebrities in their work, but they don’t get star struck much, they said.
“I was semistar struck a few years ago when I met Garth Brooks,” Anderson said. Brady said he got to meet Bill Paxton, who was very nice. But mostly when they meet celebrities, the celebs are there to either have fun or work, or it’s during the height of their busy time, so there’s no chance to visit.
“I wanted to sit down with Martin Lawrence, but I didn’t have time,” Brady said.
The pair have created good working relationships with top brands, such as Esquire Magazine and Porsche, which they say has helped them bring good value to their clients.
King Sixteen planned the launch party for Rabbit Hole Distillery, as well as a party at 21c that Rabbit Hole sponsored earlier. Michael Motamedi, chief marketing officer of Rabbit Hole, said he was impressed with the pair.
“I think they’re actually absolutely fabulous,” Motamedi said. “Super, super professional, super creative, know the who’s-who of this town and beyond. They really know how to take an idea and make it a reality. We’d sit down at our drawing board and think about things, and then they would come back with their inspiration and move forward, and it would be like, what we didn’t know we wanted. Even better so is the implementation, it’s just unparalleled.”
Motamedi said with a laugh that everything that could go wrong at the launch party did go wrong, but nothing that was the fault of King Sixteen. But Anderson and Brady worked hard and handled it, so the guests had no idea anything was wrong. The party — as far as the guests knew — went off without a hitch.
“I’ve been throwing parties for 15 or so years now, all the way from Los Angeles to Toronto to New York and now Louisville, I’ve never met a team that was able to also handle the logistical aspects,” Motamedi said. “It wasn’t just this fantasy land they were living in. They also understood budgets, they understood how to work well with others, which is really important in our industry.”
Another aspect of their business is corporate travel packages, Brady said. “For Derby this year, we had a group of 20 corporate folks and their spouses, so we organized their jet, their black car service, their hotel rooms, their premium access to these galas and opportunities that we had going on anyway,” Brady said. “It’s just so very synergistic. With our partners, host partners, brand partners, trying to have this holistic symbiosis.”
The group is working to build up that part of their business. “We are excited to put together these experiential packages for groups,” Anderson said. “We have the best relationships and access to opportunities (to pull it off).”
In the end, the pair love being able to make their clients happy.
“It’s absolutely great to make sure that the people that we partner with are happy and everything goes off without a hitch, and we’re all about elevating the guest experience,” Anderson said. “It takes a special group of vendors, and our company working together so that guests have a great time, that it was a one-of-a-kind experience, that things went the way that they were planned.”
Without proper planning, events can fall apart, Anderson added. “You’d be shocked how quickly events or festivals have things planned and have things go upside down very quickly because they missed a couple of important things. We take a lot of pride in making sure things go well and that people have a great time. That’s kind of what we’re gifted in.”
Brady agreed: “Trust is our greatest power. People trust us, and we work our butts off. We try to make sure everybody’s happy.”