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Kathleen Hessert

avatar for Kathleen Hessert

BuzzManager Inc
Kathleen Hessert is founder and CEO of Sports Media Challenge, a nationally renowned reputation management and social media consulting firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina. After nearly a decade as an award- winning television anchor, reporter and talk show host, Ms. Hessert changed competitive arenas. Since 1989, Hessert has been reputation management consultant to Olympic gold medalists and college gridiron greats, to those in the ranks of the NBA and the PGA TOUR. In 2004, Ms. Hessert became a market leader with the launch of SMC’s New Media & Fan Engagement division. Her vision led her to found BuzzMgr™, an online listening and measurement service that mines, monitors and analyzes internet word-of-mouth and brand conversations. Kathleen’s social media expertise gained international acclaim surrounding the social media platform, Twitter and she became known as “the woman who taught Shaquille O’Neal to tweet.” Her expertise soon led SMC to expand its social media services beyond monitoring and measuring to social media strategy development and execution. In 2008 she spearheaded the launch of an innovative social media daily feature called Blog Buzz on ESPN’s prestigious Sports Center. Most recently, Hessert launched Priority Connect, a mobile app that pushes the most influential tweets on a search topic to the app’s priority inbox for the user to listen to or engage with those influencers near real time. Clients have included Madison Square Garden properties, ESPN, EASports, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, The PGA Tour, Super Bowl MVPs Peyton and Eli Manning, and NASCAR’s Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton. SMC also works extensively with collegiate athletics including the Universities of Notre Dame, Auburn, Penn State, Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Virginia, The ACC, Conference-USA and the Big Ten Network. Hessert is in wide demand as an interviewee and speaker on social media strategy, execution and measurement, especially in sports and entertainment as well as the realm of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief.


Speaking Schedule




  • Band
  • Party
  • AC Select
  • SXSW Interactive Conference
  • SXSW Film Conference + Screenings
  • SXSW Music Conference
  • Venue
  • Free Stuff
  • Theme
  • Level

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