You guys are doing a great job, this is what I hope for ever since I start posting here - for more of his fans to come and post too, I will post dont worry, but i am having a great time reading all of what you guys have posted since last week - i am so glad to have you both here, i hope others will do the same - we need more fans here - :hug: :hug: big hugs to you both - thank you. :angel: :angel:
BOW tournament director Gus Sampras has two girls; his sister, UCLA coach Stella is pregnant with twins; and Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, wife of legend Pete, will deliver their second child any day now. That should double the number of their children.
Birdgette has her baby already, and his sister Marion has a boy - there will be plenty of samprases to play tennis in the future. :bounce: :bounce: :bigclap: :bigclap: :clap2: :clap2:
Sampras had an extra reason to smile. He became an uncle for the first time Saturday after his brother Gus' wife had a baby girl, who was named Olivia Georgia. Her middle name is in honor of Sampras' mother.
Sampras Gives Up Tennis for Baseball 02/08/06 - Golden Baseball League (GBL) Long Beach Armada
(Pleasanton, CA. February 8, 2006) The Golden Baseball League today announced that Gus Sampras has been hired as the new General Manager of the Long Beach Armada. Sampras, an executive with the sports marketing firm IMG, replaces former Los Angeles Dodger Marketing Vice-President Barry Stockhamer who retired at the end of last season after fulfilling his one-year commitment to launch the new professional baseball team.
"Gus is a great addition for the league and for the Long Beach Armada," said Amit Patel, President of the Golden Baseball League. "He's a proven sports marketing executive, has lived and worked his entire life in and close to Long Beach, and is exceptional at developing business relationships and producing highly entertaining sporting events."
Sampras has worked in sports marketing for 17 years after graduating from California State University Long Beach with both an undergraduate degree and an M.B.A. His experience includes 12 years at International Management Group (IMG) where he was most recently Vice-President of IMG Tennis. At IMG his positions also included stints as Director of Professional Tennis Properties, Senior Account Executive, and Event Manager with projects as diverse as developing sponsorships for Olympic and Professional Volleyball, production of Kids' Day Program with the Cartoon Network, consulting with the University of Southern California in selling the naming rights to their basketball arena, and a myriad of charitable and community benefit programs involving IMG athletes. In addition, since 1988, Gus has held the positions of Business Manager, Treasurer & Secretary of Pistol Pete, Inc. which manages the business activities of tennis professional Pete Sampras.
"I'm excited to be part of this team and to be contributing to the quality of life for families in Long Beach," said Sampras. "Working with the coaching staff, including ex-major leaguers Darrell Evans and John Warden, I plan to bring lots of fun and good times at Blair Field along with a winning team to our fans."
The Long Beach Armada played their first season at Blair Field in 2005 as part of the new professional Golden Baseball League. The team was a success both on the field and with fans, as the Armada averaged over 1,200 fans per game. The team featured five former major leaguers, many players with Single-A to Triple-A experience, and three members from the back-to-back Long Beach Little League world champions of the early 1990s. Three Armada players were purchased by major league organizations during the 2005 season, and they continue their climb to the big leagues. Additional highlights of the 2005 Armada season include strong ties to the Long Beach community through a partnership with St. Mary's Medical Center, and the development of an educational reading program in conjunction with Long Beach area schools. Wacky and fun mid-inning fan activities, fireworks and other entertaining elements which included the signing a nun to a single day contract, ESPN Cold Pizza host Jay Crawford pitching two scoreless innings, and the famous "Bing Boy" roaming the Blair Field stands. The Armada also hosted both a Tommy Lasorda Recognition Night and an exhibition game for the Taiwan National Team and hold the all-time record for single-game attendance at Blair Field with over 3500 in attendance for Opening Day.
The 2006 season for the Long Beach Armada opens at home on June 12th versus the Chico Outlaws. Tickets, merchandise, and sponsor opportunities are all still available at www.longbeacharmada.com.
About the Golden Baseball League
The Golden Baseball League, Presented by Safeway Inc./VONS, is a professional baseball league operating under a single-entity ownership model, with the League owning all the individual teams. Golden Baseball League teams include the Chico Outlaws in Chico; CA, the Fullerton Flyers in Fullerton; CA, the Long Beach Armada in Long Beach; CA, the San Diego Surf Dawgs in San Diego; CA, the Yuma Scorpions in Yuma; AZ, and the Reno Silver Sox in Reno; NV. The season consists of 80 games per team, begins the first of June and ends in early September. Each team will have a 23-player roster.
Armada names Sampras new GM By A.J. Perez, Staff writer
Gus Sampras was the first to admit that his baseball knowledge isn't too expansive.
But it was his knowledge of Long Beach that impressed the upper brass of the Golden Baseball League, which announced Wednesday he would take over the Long Beach Armada's vacant GM position.
"I haven't worked a lot on baseball, but my focus here will be on the business side of things," said Sampras, who holds an undergrad and a MBA degree from Long Beach State. "I want to make sure that things run smoothly."
Gus Sampras the older brother of tennis legend Pete Sampras spent the past 13 years with IMG running pro tennis events all over the West Coast, including the WTA tournament at the Home Depot Center. He said recent changes to IMG's tennis operations and his desire for a job with less travel led him to the Armada, which has been without a GM since Barry Stockhamer resigned last October.
"We wanted somebody with ties to the community," said Amit Patel, president and co-founder of the GBL. "He's a great fit from the perspective."
Patel added that Sampras, who lives in Rancho Palos Verdes, also fits the league's marketing strategy.
"A lot what Gus did in tennis translates to his job with the Armada," Patel added. "He has experience promoting individual tennis events. I think he can make that approach work with the Armada. We want every game to be its own event through different theme nights."
The Armada averaged 1,072 fans per game in the inaugural season, which was about half of the what the two top teams in the league Chico and Yuma, Ariz. drew out each night.
Patel said he expects Sampras, 38, to implement more
theme nights at Blair Field, like one the Armada put on last year to salute former Dodger greats.
As far as the team's front office, Sampras said he expects to hire a few more people to bolster the staff that has guided the team this offseason.
"We have a good core here," Sampras said. "I don't want to stir the pot."
Sampras said the same goes for the field staff, which will have Darrell Evans back as manager.
"I'm going to rely on Darrell for all the on-field stuff," Sampras said.
Evans said he doesn't expect the GM change will alter his job in any way.
"They are really separate jobs in the minors," Evans said. "The big difference is that its (the manager's) job to negotiate players' contracts and all that kind of stuff. Gus' job will be to get people in the seats and make it fun for everybody."
Sampras is the third GM since the Armada came in existence in September 2004. The team's first top executive, Mike Malinas, resigned before the season started for personal reasons. The GBL which owns each of the league's franchises then tapped Stockhamer, the former Dodgers executive.
Stockhamer decided to let his contract expire so he could focus on his consulting business.
The Armada open their season at Reno on June 2. Long Beach plays its first game at Blair June 12 against Chico.
IMG has been shedding its tennis properties since Teddy Forstman took over, as well as many of it tennis executives. The magnanimous Gus Sampras is gone to a minor league baseball team, a significant loss for the sport. The friendly Eric van Dillen is elsewhere, too. Both those men have long histories in the sport. Who's to replace them? Some silver-tongued entertainment executive who has no clue as to what tennis fans want?
Gus Sampras is the new General Manager of the Long Beach Armada.
The former executive with the sports marketing firm International Management Group (IMG) will replace former Los Angeles Dodger Marketing Vice-President Barry Stockhamer, who resigned last October.
Sampras, 38, is the older brother of retired tennis star Pete Sampras and, since 1988, has helped manage the business activities of his brother through Pistol Pete, Inc. The Cal State Long Beach grad has worked in sports marketing for 17 years including 12 at IMG. He was most recently Vice-President of IMG Tennis and he spent many years running tennis events, including the WTA tournament at the Home Depot Center.
The Armada’s season opener is at Reno on June 2 and the home opener at Blair Field is June 12 against Chico. For tickets, call (562) 597-9787.