Until quite recently, there was a single source of record for your favorite sports team: The beat writer. For decades, the local paper determined what sports fans would consume and how they’d consume it.Not until the explosion of the internet were sports fans able to fulfill their desire to know more about their team -- and know that stuff immediately. The web completely innovated the experience of being a sports fan. Pretty soon, athletes were communicating directly with fans. Highlight dunks were published online seconds later. Reporters began to tweet notes from practice instantly.Today's modern sports fan demands immediacy, and this appetite is driving a new kind of sports coverage, one that relies on innovation, both technically and editorially. Our panel will explore the rapid innovation that has occurred in sports journalism, and promises to continue at an exponential rate. We'll seek to answer the question: What will the sports beat look like in 10 years?
Dir, Media Services, San Antonio Spurs
Sr NBA Editor, Yahoo! Sports
Johnny Ludden was the San Antonio Express-News' lead beat writer for the San Antonio Spurs nine seasons beginning with the franchise's first championship in 1999. He left after their fourth title in 2007 to become Yahoo! Sports' senior NBA editor. In addition to continuing to oversee NBA coverage for the country's most-trafficked sports site, Ludden also now heads Y! Sports' investigative team. Ludden previously covered college football and basketball for the Express-News. He attended the University of Texas at Austin from 1991-95 and now lives in Santa Monica, Calif.
President, 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.
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