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Sports Then and Now



Upstart Power Golf Championship Survives & Thrives in Rough Economy 29

Posted on June 10, 2010 by Amy Roth

Competition Founder John Mamoudis Determined to Buck the Odds and Succeed Once Again

The 2009 Big Shots Titans at the Tee included many sports legends including Marcus Allen, Goose Gossage, Eric Dickerson, Jim Rice, Bruce Jenner and Joe Theismann.

Since 2008, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average pinballed from over 12,700 points to 6,443 back to 9,756, the sports business landscape has tilted: General Motors, Home Depot, FedEx, Sony Ericsson and Re/Max have all downgraded or completely forsaken long-running sports sponsorships, the Texas Rangers have gone bankrupt and the Arena Football League and the WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs have folded.

Yet, despite the most inhospitable business climate in 70 years, a bold new sports start-up, “Big Shots Titans at the Tee,” has flourished. The astounding success of this long-drive power golf tournament is due entirely to its founder, John Mamoudis.  His determination, passion and pocketbook have enabled Big Shots to buck the economic odds and — even without a major sponsor — soar beyond everyone’s expectations.

Since its debut in 2008, the event has become a favorite among competitors and fans alike, garnering outstanding television ratings and generating grassroots and media buzz.

Mamoudis, a resident of Virginia Beach, is a passionate golfer and former long-drive champion himself.  After years of hearing “oooh,” “aaah” and “I’ve never seen anyone hit a ball that far,” he decided to try a long-drive competition.  Mamoudis won the first tournament he played in, the 2004 Long Drivers of America regional qualifier.  He snagged the regional, then the state, and was invited to the World Finals in the Senior Division in Las Vegas.  After competing through the ranks, he returned to the World Finals for the next three years. He was hooked.  (Unsurprisingly, his twitter user name is @longdriveman.)
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