"I believe, as a speaker, that vulnerability equals connectivity. This is why I approach my keynote presentations with a mission of bringing you on an emotional journey through my life, into a hall-of-fame huddle, and onto a field of high-impact lessons. All our lives tell a story, and this is how I tell mine!" - Ben Utecht
It is rare to find a true Renaissance man anymore, but that’s just what you get with Ben Utecht. Ben has always chased his dreams, finding his way from a small river town in Minnesota to winning Super Bowl XLI as a tight end with the Indianapolis Colts. He has established himself as an elite Fortune 500 speaker with his speaking program Believe in Culture™, which highlights the topic of believing that culture alignment improves performance and has the power to create high-performing teams — aligned beliefs equal aligned behaviors. His speaking program, Believe in Culture™, stems from lessons he learned in the locker room with Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy and in the huddle with future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. The program illuminates dynamic ways to succeed in business and life.
Ben Utecht has found success in many realms, sitting on the prestigious board of the American Brain Foundation, authoring Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away with Simon and Schuster, creating the music group REBORN with South African Multi-Platinum Artist André Venter and Canadian Grammy Nominated Artist Mark Masri, and becoming a Dove nominated professional singer. As an advocate for athlete brain health, Ben speaks on concussion during The MVP Program™. He has performed with some of the world’s best orchestras and conductors; such as the Cincinnati Pops under Maestro Erich Kunzel, and the New York Pops Maestro Steven Reineke. Ben has also shared the stage with Grammy-winner Sandi Patty, performed for mega-producer and hit songwriter David Foster, and has toured many times with adult contemporary star pianist Jim Brickman. However, without question, Ben would tell you his greatest accomplishment is being a husband to his beautiful wife and a father to their four daughters.
Football Teams: Cincinnati Bengals 2008-2009, Indianapolis Colts 2004-2007, University of Minnesota
Ben Utecht received the Uncommon Award from Tony Dungy in 2019.
Ben Utecht gave a TEDx Talk titled “What Has Relevance If You Can’t Remember It?” in 2018.
Ben Utecht received the American Academy of Neurology and American Brain Foundation’s most prestigious honor in 2014.
Ben Utecht received the Ambassador Award for his work raising concussion awareness in 2013.
Ben Utecht’s holiday album, “Christmas Hope,” was nominated for a Dove Award in 2012.
Ben Utecht won the 2006 Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts.
Ben Utecht was awarded the honor while playing for the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher football team in 2003.
Ben Utecht was Team Captain for the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher football team in 2003.
In 2019, Ben joined the team at Management Essentials, an elite performance management company. Management Essentials believes in connecting leaders to performance through culture, leveraging a unique blend of capabilities including high impact performance keynotes from Ben, proprietary application of culture assessment software, performance coaching, and strategic planning.
As Chief Performance Officer, Ben oversees all aspects of Management Essentials’ practice that is focused on helping organizations achieve elite performance through culture. Leveraging Management Essentials’ CulturePulse™ software, an elite team of executive coaches, sophisticated strategic planning capabilities, and Ben’s own speaking programs, Ben enjoys helping leaders connect to elite performance leveraging the methodology he learned in the NFL with the Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts and Hall of Fame Coach Tony Dungy.
After retiring from the NFL due to concussions, Ben Utecht has become an advocate for sports brain injury awareness
Ben Utecht never thought much about injuries, much less neurological issues, when he played football. He went from being a high school star in Minnesota, to being a four-year starter at the University of Minnesota. He then achieved the ultimate in football, by winning the 2006 Super Bowl XLI with the Indianapolis Colts.
Utecht was a talented, smart tight end, who understood and endured the bumps and bruises that inherently came from playing a rough sport such as football. But all of his drive, determination, and even willingness to play through injuries, was no match for overcoming the damage left by five documented concussions during his NFL career. Utecht went from the high of winning the 2006 Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts, to three years later, retiring from the game in 2009 over health concerns stemming from concussions.
His elite football career, and the devastating concussions he endured from the game, has led him to being an outspoken – and influential – advocate for sports brain injury awareness. “It took losing my mind to begin caring for mind,” Utecht says. “Our relevance in this life comes from our memories. We are living memories that should cherish the miracle of the brain better. Caring is the core of changing the nature that says, ‘Winning is more important than remembering’.”
Utecht uses his rich experiences and authentic voice to discuss brain injury awareness. He is open and honest about his ongoing neurocognitive issues, such as memory loss, and sheds a personal light on one of the most-discussed injuries in sports today. Ben Utecht is a sought-after expert in the media to discuss concussions and brain injuries in sports and football, and also speaks to groups around the country. He testified about his experiences with concussions and football at a U.S. Senate hearing in 2014, as well as appearing as a featured expert panelist at the 2015 South by Southwest Sports festival in Austin, Texas on the topic of brain health and sports.
Ben Utecht serves as the national spokesperson for the American Academy of Neurology and the American Brain Foundation. He has earned honors for his brave honesty and advocacy, receiving the 2014 Public Leadership in Neurology Award from the American Academy of Neurology. “It is such an honor to work alongside the American Academy of Neurology and the American Brain Foundation,” Utecht explains. “Their mission is to cure brain disease, and that is something that I believe will become a reality. The more we begin to care about the brain, the more we care about the essence of who we are.”
Utecht remains an avid football fan, and he seeks ways to make the game safer for kids who are learning how to play – as well as those who have followed into his footsteps by playing in college and the NFL. He wants boys and girls, especially his own four young daughters, to enjoy sports and remain safe. Utecht seeks to empower athletes, as well as their coaches and parents, to make stronger choices by better understanding concussions and the possible ramifications to the brain of playing contact sports.
“I will always enjoy the game of football, but it can continue to get better,” Utecht says. “My greatest concern is for our children. We need to put the brain health of our children as priority No. 1. There is no debating putting children at higher risk for brain damage or disease.”
Ben Utecht is a sought-after expert in the media to discuss concussions and brain injuries in sports and football
Ben Utecht’s book, published by Simon and Schuster, chronicles his journey from his childhood throwing a football back and forth with his father to winning Super Bowl XLI with the Indianapolis Colts to speaking about the long-term effects of concussions before Congress.
Ben Utecht wrote a letter to his wife and daughters expressing his love in case he reaches a point someday when he can’t remember them and made it a song and music video.
3 Men. 3 Nations. 3 Stories.
It is a rare and powerful thing to experience three completely different worlds colliding at a critical moment in time, creating something new; something unified in focus, belief, and mission. That is exactly what happened with Ben Utecht, André Venter, and Mark Masri. REBORN has a new pop sound that penetrates the soul through the powerful fusion of their voices. From towering notes, that will literally pick you up and inspire you to live better; to tender phrases, that will draw tears of pain, hope, and recovery, REBORN’s sound redefines the modern male group through originality, messaging, and harmony.