Melissa Newhart is an entertainment and music industry professional with more than ten years experience working in extensive marketing, branding, strategic partnership, and media.. She began her career at Columbia Records, and joined United Talent Agency (UTA) in 2017 from Roc Nation, where she was VP of Brand Partnerships. Over the course of her career, Melissa has closed more than 200 deals for more than 70 different artists such as the Jonas Brothers, Lauryn Hill, Young Thug, Karol G, Bebe Rexha, and Tierra Whack. She has worked with top global brands such as Mastercard, Xbox, Louis Vuitton, Levi’s, Fila, Cadillac, Tanqueray and Smirnoff. Newhart was included in Billboard’s “Branding Power Players” list in 2019, spotlighted in HITS! Daily Double “Noisemakers” in 2020, and in 2021, had her work featured in publications Muse by Clio and Campaign.
Currently, an Executive in UTA’s Music Brand Partnerships division, Melissa leads the team’s East Coast brand partnerships business. In addition to artist specific brand strategy, Melissa also has experience negotiating and executing brand partnerships for large-scale live music properties such as the Made in America Music Festival and TIDAL X Benefit Concert, as well as bringing to life major tour sponsorships such as MasterCard Presents Jonas Brothers “Happiness Begins” tour and Smirnoff Presents Karol G’s “Bichota” tour. Newhart has been instrumental in recognizing new lanes of business for UTA and has been at the forefront of UTA’s expansion into the Latin music brand business. She played an instrumental role on the signing teams and oversees partnerships for superstars, Anitta, Romeo Santos, and Karol G. In addition to working with global superstar artists, Newhart is a champion for emerging talent as well. She has helped artists like Princess Nokia and Tierra Whack develop their careers by securing highly sought after partnerships that spotlight their music and give them opportunities to take on creative directing and design roles, beyond traditional endorsements.
When COVID-19 brought the live music and events business to a standstill, Newhart found innovative ways for artists and brands to quickly pivot to virtual integrations, while giving back to those in need. She paired Lauryn Hill with Louis Vuitton to record an original musical and visual score in Shanghai for Virgil Abloh’s fashion show, receiving nearly 100 million views. As part of the partnership, Louis Vuitton made a donation to Lauryn Hill’s Foundation, supporting black-owned businesses affected by COVID-19. Newhart also worked with GrubHub to program their “Sound Bites” livestream series, booking Lupe Fiasco, Iann Dior, Saint Jhn, and Dominic Fike with each of their sessions reaching millions of fans. The series benefited organizations such as World Central Kitchen and HeadCount.
Not only does Newhart help advance her clients’ careers, she is also dedicated to helping foster the next generation of young professionals across the music industry. Passionate about mentorship, she is actively involved in UTA's Mentorship Program, which connects colleagues of all levels across UTA with mentors across different departments to help foster career development. She is also a member of UTA's Women's Interest Group, which addresses challenges women face in today’s workplace and teaches the importance of self-advocacy, mentorship and allyship. She is a member of Le Femme Majeure as well, which is a UTA Music organization and event series, dedicated to bringing together music’s next generation of female leaders, nurturing professional growth and advancing gender equality in the industry.