Chicago, Illinois

About Us

The Nudge Mill?

A goofy name. A serious purpose.

Nudge [nuhj], verb:  To gently push into action.
Mill [mil], noun: A factory for certain kinds of manufacture.

We’re a marketing and communications agency focused on in-person interaction to drive experiences between businesses and their customers. No offense to digital experts, but we’re proud face-to-face people. We build powerful human touchpoints in places where businesses and customers physically interact, notably in mass participation athletics, corporate events, trade shows and field marketing activations.

Here at The Nudge Mill, we manufacture inspiration.

Our Background

We were founded by Scott “Hootie” Hutmacher, an innovative relationship marketer with 20 years of experience creating meaningful connections through compelling in-person campaigns.

He is a trusted spokesperson, having represented billion-dollar brands in national media coverage. He’s also a sort of endurance industry pioneer, a certified coach, and race director. Read his full bio below. 

In this new organization, he’s hyper-focused on creating inspiring moments and life-altering customer events.

Contact Our Team

Scott “Hootie” Hutmacher Bio

Marketer. Event Director. Spokesperson. Coach.

Scott “Hootie” Hutmacher is an innovative relationship marketer with 20 years experience in strategic marketing, event production, media relations, public speaking, and wellness advocacy.

Hootie’s event career began in 2000 working for the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) at Chicago’s McCormick Place. There he supported hundreds of show organizers across the exhibition and convention industry by advocating the power of face-to-face marketing.

When the opportunity came to join the Events Team at LaSalle Bank with responsibility for breathing new life into the Chicago Marathon, he jumped at it. There, he quickly learned the importance of investing in the community and the flawless attention to detail required to create a world-class athletic event experience.

In 2004, he began assistant coaching a recreational adult triathlon club, eventually turning that group into a full-time business in 2008 (and becoming an Ironman competitor himself). He sold that business in 2012, then moved to help Life Time Fitness reinvigorate its athletic event portfolio, especially a stagnant Chicago Triathlon.

Local market research identified that open water was the strongest deterrent for new participants. With a unique events and coaching background, he developed learn-to-swim programs in Lake Michigan. Since then, more than 12,000 swimmers came through the programs, quickly becoming the largest feeder of new athletes into the Chicago Triathlon. First-timer participation soon spiked to 30% of the total field, and total participation grew by 20%. Similar results were achieved in the running space, due to community training programs around two local half marathons.

That proven success elevated him into a national role as the Senior Brand Manager for Life Time’s Triathlon Series. There he was responsible for recruiting 25,000 collective athletes across historic events in NYC, Chicago, Miami, etc. as well as 10,000 Indoor Triathlon participants across North America. In 2017, the division’s largest-ever promotional campaign launched (anthem name: “#IfINeverTri”) with incredible results, including 20% growth in first-time participants.

In late 2019, Hootie stepped-down from his dream job in sports marketing to pursue another. He soon launched The Nudge Mill – a marketing and communications agency focused on in-person interaction to drive meaningful experiences between organizations and their consumers.

In today’s digital world, he firmly believes that in-person interaction remains the most impactful means to positively connect with audiences, and an equally-critical component to achieve overall marketing objectives.

The Nudge Mill allows him to combine his expansive knowledge of events and his passion for personal development in order to advocate for increased human connectivity.