We’re seeing the first moves as the Elmore Sports Group prepares for the shift of three MiLB franchises in 2019, as Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Pacific Coast League) GM Tony Ensor will be president and GM of the new Amarillo team.
Replacing him in Colorado Springs: current Assistant General Manager Chris Phillips.
The move takes place at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
“I make this announcement with mixed emotions,” Ensor said. “My family and I have been very blessed to live and work in this incredible community for the past 14 seasons and have built many amazing relationships along the way. We will take with us great memories and many lasting friendships. This is also a tremendous opportunity that we are very excited to begin as I take another step forward in my professional baseball career.”
Three teams will be shifted by the Elmore Sports Group for the 2019 season: the PCL’s Sky Sox franchise is moving to San Antonio and playing under the current Missions name; the Texas League’s San Antonio Missions team is moving to a new Amarillo ballpark; and the Helena Brewers (rookie; Pioneer League) will be moving to Colorado Springs to replace the Sky Sox.
As noted, Phillips will take over day-to-day operations and serve as the club’s General Manager following the 2018 season when the franchise transitions from Triple-A baseball to the Pioneer League. Phillips has been with the Sky Sox for seven seasons and has served as the organization’s Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Sales since December 2011.
A native of Cresskill, New Jersey, Phillips graduated from Penn State University and started his career in the hotel industry. In 2003, he transitioned into the world of Minor League Baseball, starting his path with the Altoona Curve as a Ticket Account Executive, and quickly moving up the ranks to Assistant Director of Ticket Sales shortly after. In 2005, he took on the role of Director of Ticket Sales for the Greenberg Sports Group, overseeing the ticket sales department for both the Curve and the State College Spikes. He was promoted to Assistant General Manager of the Spikes, overseeing ticket sales, sponsorships sales, and business development for the team before joining the Sky Sox. The 2018 season marks his 17th year in professional baseball.
“I’m honored and grateful for this opportunity,” Phillips said. “I consider it a privilege to work for the Elmore Sports Group and I’d like to thank them for their support and belief in me as we get ready to usher in a new era of professional baseball in Colorado Springs. I’d also like to acknowledge my family, friends, and colleagues who have encouraged me along the way – and a big shout out to Tony Ensor who has been a fantastic mentor and who has become a great friend over the years. We’ve got a terrific staff in place and we are passionate about continuing to bring the very best in affordable family entertainment to everyone in the Pikes Peak region. We’re thrilled to call Colorado Springs our home, and now that our future here is set for the next 45 + years, get ready for some serious fun out at the ballpark with some exciting plans in the works.”
Keith Hodges, Senior Director of Group Sales for the Sky Sox has been promoted to Assistant General Manager effective after the conclusion of the 2018 baseball season. The San Antonio, Texas native started with the Sky Sox in 2006 as a Group Event Planner and has been in his current capacity for the past five seasons, creating and executing corporate hospitality events and sponsorships with the organization.
On both his long-time Assistant General Manager and Group Sales Director, Ensor said, “I am excited for Chris and Keith who have truly earned their opportunity to lead our team. I have every confidence that they will do a fantastic job as the next caretakers of this great organization. They both are already integral parts of this community and I fully trust their abilities to lead this organization into the future and continue to provide a first-class fan experience.”
Said D.G. Elmore of the Elmore Sports Group: “There is no one else in baseball we would have rather chosen to take the reigns and head our new franchise in Amarillo besides Tony, and we are fortunate to have a seasoned leader in Chris to begin the newest era of professional baseball in Colorado Springs.”
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