PRESS RELEASE – Zawyer Sports, owner of the Fort Myers Miracle baseball club and Jacksonville Icemen hockey team, as well as operator of spring training for the Minnesota Twins and Hammond Stadium, has announced a new management team for the growing company. Andrew Kaufman, CEO of Jacksonville-based Zawyer Sports, has named Bob Ohrablo as president of Zawyer Sports. Ohrablo will oversee operations for both the Miracle and Icemen, as well as future Zawyer Sports business interests.
Ohrablo has 36 years of experience operating professional sports franchises and was a founding partner of the Orlando Solar Bears and Jacksonville Icemen hockey teams, which both compete in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). Prior roles include executive director of strategic partnerships for Visit Orlando, chief operating officer and managing partner for the Solar Bears, consultant with Whalers Sports and Entertainment, vice president of marketing for Laminate US, director of new business development for the Florida Panthers/Sunrise Sports and Entertainment, chief operating officer for the Syracuse Crunch, director of marketing for the Kansas City Blades, executive vice president for the Phoenix Roadrunners, sports information director for Binghamton State University and ticket manager for the New York Sets, which later became the Apples.
A Floridian for the past 19 years, Ohrablo earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Binghamton University and a master’s degree in business administration from Nova Southeastern University’s H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business.
“We will focus on continuing to create an affordable, family-friendly environment for Miracle fans in Southwest Florida while being a strong community partner for local organizations,” Ohrablo said. “I am proud of the work our team has accomplished in other markets and look forward to directing a long and exciting future of baseball in Fort Myers. I am also grateful for the support and encouragement we’ve received from our great partners, the Minnesota Twins.”
Kaufmann formed Kaufy Baseball, LLC in September 2018 before acquiring controlling ownership of the Miracle in January 2019. Kaufmann created SZH Hockey, LLC in May 2019 and acquired the Jacksonville Icemen in July 2019. Zawyer Sports is the corporation that oversees the two LLCs.
The Miracle are the Class-A Advanced Affiliate of the Minnesota Twins and have played at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers since 1992. The team won Florida State League championships in 2014 and 2018, and claimed the first half division title in 2019 while averaging 1,909 fans per game for the season, third among 12 FSL teams.
The Icemen formed in 2017 and play in the South division of the East Coast Hockey League as an affiliate of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets and AHL’s Manitoba Moose. Home games are played at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville. The Icemen qualified for the ECHL playoffs in 2019 and finished third in attendance among 27 teams in the ECHL, averaging 5,993 fans per game.
Chris Peters, formerly the president and general manager of the Miracle, has been promoted to vice president of corporate partnerships and baseball ventures for Zawyer Sports. He will oversee sponsorship sales and services for both Zawyer Sports teams.
Scott Einhorn, who directed day-to-day sales and marketing operations for the Icemen, will perform the same duties for both Zawyer clubs.
Lauren Muni, who was director of marketing for the Icemen, will fill a similar role and responsibilities for both Zawyer teams.
Additionally, Zawyer Sports has promoted Judd Loveland, the Miracle’s assistant general manager for the past two seasons, to the position of general manager for the Miracle. He will manage day-to-day operations for Hammond Stadium as well as team operations, and have a key role in all decisions impacting the Miracle franchise.
“By operating the two organizations as one, we are able to bring a diverse, talented leadership team to both organizations,” Kaufmann said. “Miracle fans are among the most loyal in all of minor league baseball, and I’m excited for what’s to come as we prepare for the 2020 season.”
Kaufmann created the name “Zawyer” by combining the first names of his two children, Zachary and Sawyer.