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Kathleen Hessert plays an integral role as the lead Legacy advisor at Legacy Direct.  Hessert brings over 20 years of experience working with high-profile athletes such as Peyton Manning and Shaquille O’Neal, helping them to become better communicators in front of the media.  While at Sports Media Challenge, Hessert also developed the Buzz Manager product, a tracking tool that measures online word-of-mouth communication using a proprietary search engine.

As part of Legacy Direct’s advisory team, Hessert has introduced a new way for athletes and entertainers to better communicate in the new and revolutionary world of social media.  Legacy Direct’s clients will be able to use the new social media guidebook in order to master web tools like twitter, helping them to promote their own unique brand and lifestyle.  Here is the link to the proprietary guidebook developed by Sports Media Challenge:

http://sportsmediachallenge.com/GlossaryOfTerms.pdf

One of Legacy Direct’s clients is Natalie Gulbis, LPGA golfer, whom Hessert encouraged the use twitter following an initial Legacy Assesment Meeting.  Gulbis’ twitter followers are embracing her frequent twitter updates as she always keeps her nearly 1,700 twitter followers informed of her latest travel updates when she is on tour as well as her public appearances for charity.

Courtesy David Sherman

Courtesy David Sherman

Twitter, the micro-blogging site used to keep friends up-to-date with “What am I doing” text messages has caught on with athletes and entertainers in a big way.  Numerous celebrities have already begun using twitter, including one of our clients, Natalie Gulbis.  With the help of Kathleen Hessert, Lead Legacy Direct Advisor, Natalie has created her own twitter account, which you can view at the following link:

https://twitter.com/natalie_gulbis

Natalie’s 960 followers pale in comparison to Shaquille O’Neal’s 25,814 followers.  However, Natalie is proving that she can be her own “unique brand” through twitter, where she talks to her followers about maintaining proper diet and exercise as a professional athlete.

Natalie also shows evidence of her community involvement while helping out at the local Boys & Girls Club of North Las Vegas, using twitPic, which is a complimentary service to her updates.  You can view the picture here:

http://twitpic.com/vkev

Twitter’s most recent press article in the New York Times can be viewed below.  The article includes mentions of Gulbis and O’Neal and their enthusiasm for twitter, as well as their hesitations.  Overall, both athletes realize that they are increasing their already high exposure, but doing so through their own unique thoughts and experiences.  Other celebrities who have caught onto twitter besides Gulbis and O’Neal include Saturday Night Live’s Jimmy Fallon, former NFL star, Jerry Rice, as well as actor, Luke Wilson and Tour de France champion, Lance Armstrong.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/05/technology/internet/05link.html?scp=1&sq=Twitter&st=cse

Shaq

Shaq

For those of you who don’t know what Twitter is: According to their website, “Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”

Twitter

So, what happens when a 33-year old Suns fan pretends to be Shaquille O’Neal, providing the world wide web with fake impersonations of what the real Shaquille is doing that day?  Shaq will find out about it and put his foot down!

Sports Media Challenge, a media training and consulting company for athletes, is run by Kathleen Hessert, who has worked with Shaq for several years.  Once Kathleen filed a complaint to Twitter about the Suns fan pretending to be Shaquille O’Neal, executives at Twitter had the man’s Twitter site removed.

Sports Media Challenge

Now, Shaq maintains his own Twitter account called “The_Real_Shaq,” and Ward Andrews, the 33-year old Suns fan has an archive of his Twitter postings, under the account named, “notShaqONeal.”  Perhaps, the outcome of all this is the influence that social media can have on the fans of the NBA, the Twitter community, and the entire world wide web.

Shaquille O’Neal understands that influence.  He just wanted to make sure that the “Real Shaq” was using Twitter and not some imposter.  The_Real_Shaq now has thousands of subscribers to his Twitter feed and only the sky is the limit.  He is certainly keeping us all entertained with his constant Twitter updates, that is for certain!

Check out these revelant links, including the article that made the New York Times, the reaction on Deadspin, a site for sports fans, and “The_Real_Shaq’s” Twitter page:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/20/sports/basketball/20shaq.html?_r=1

http://deadspin.com/5093295/will-the-real-shaq-twitter-feed-please-stand-up

https://twitter.com/THE_REAL_SHAQ


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