After nearly a decade as an award-winning television anchor, reporter and talk show host, Kathleen Hessert changed competitive arenas. She took her ability to ask tough questions and put it to work for those on the receiving end.
Since 1989, Hessert has been media and speech coach to Olympic gold medalists and college gridiron greats, to those in the ranks of the NBA and the PGA. Race car drivers, bull riders and tennis pros are among the many who have sought her counsel in learning how to excel in the increasingly important arena of public opinion and reputation management.
Says Hessert, “For today’s athlete, coach, or sports executive, winning isn’t enough. The stakes have risen considerably, and so has the scrutiny on every aspect of their lives. Those who excel as communicators distinguish themselves from the rest.” Hessert’s answer: Sports Media Challenge, a nationally renowned speaking, training, and consulting firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In 2004, Hessert launched a division of New Media & Fan Engagement with the introduction of Buzz Manager™, a proprietary search engine which mines, monitors and analyzes internet word-of-mouth conversations. Buzz Manager™ provides clients with in-depth quantitative and qualitative analysis of online conversations about their brand and relevant issues.
In the last year, Sports Media Challenge brought to sports an interactive social media glossary of terms: “Winning Fans Through Social Media,” as well as user guides for rapidly-growing social media in sports: “Twitter 101” and “Twitter Best Practices.” Hessert’s social media expertise gained international acclaim with the launch of Shaquille O’Neal on Twitter. Her strategies resulted in Shaq’s gaining over 750,000 Twitter followers with a reach of over 11 million globally. Sports Media Challenge has also entered into a partnership with ESPN to create a new daily feature called “BlogBuzz” feature on their premiere show “SportsCenter.” BlogBuzz powered by Buzz Manager™ is the first such feature to showcase the voice of fans through blogs.
Clients have included Madison Square Garden properties, the Texas Rangers, the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers, The PGA Tour, Super Bowl MVPs Peyton and Eli Manning, NASCAR’s Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon, and NBA great Shaquille O’Neal. Hessert also works extensively at the collegiate level with, among others, the Universities of Notre Dame, Penn State, Texas, Tennessee, New Mexico and Virginia.
Hessert is the author of “Winning the Media Game: A Gide for NFL Players,” “Power Training: How to Win the Media Game,” and “The Coach’s Communication PlayBook.”