SWEETS BASEBALL | #SWEETSCOUNTRY

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CAPPS 2016

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Zachary Fraser

President & COO - Pacific Baseball Ventures; General Manager - Walla Walla Sweets

Zachary moved to Walla Walla in 2009 to establish the Walla Walla Sweets and Pacific Baseball Ventures (PBV). First as the founding general manager of the Sweets, and now as president and COO of PBV, he directly oversees all baseball operations, business development, and long-term strategic direction for the company, that has grown from the basement of the Fraser household to two teams and revenues exceeding $1.3M/year.

He brings veteran experience to the company. In 2005, Zachary was named general manager of the Orem Owlz, the Pioneer League affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, where he oversaw a franchise that tripled attendance and revenues within two years. Zachary and his staff resurrected a franchise that had spent years at the bottom of the league in every statistical category, despite having a winning product on the field. By 2007, the Owlz were regularly drawing 100,000 fans per season (up from 40,000 in 2004).

In October of 2007, Fraser became the sports marketing manager at One Communications in Rochester, NY, managing the sports marketing and event branding relationships. One Communications, which at the time was the largest privately held CLEC in the United States, maintained status as the Official Telecom Partner of the Boston Red Sox, Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Green Bay Packers while Fraser was there. The company also held significant relationships with the PGA, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Boston Marathon, among other properties.

Fraser moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2008 to become director of ticket sales and service for the Seattle Storm, becoming a senior leader as the franchise transitioned to independent ownership following the departure of the Sonics. Fraser's team was among the league's best in season ticket sales, and had four of the league's ten best salespeople.

Since establishing the company in Walla Walla, the Sweets have been among the continent’s best and most consistent in per-game attendance. The team was ranked #23 in 2010 and #21 in 2011 in average attendance among all summer collegiate wood-bat teams in the U.S. and Canada, and has maintained a consistent spot in the Top 50 each year of operation – despite Walla Walla being one of the smallest markets in the country. The Sweets were recognized for the best marketing campaign in the country in 2010 for their successful launch of the team, and Fraser was recognized as the 2010 WCL Executive of the Year. #SweetsCountry has come to define the community that supports Sweets Baseball and has moved from start-up to embedded tradition in the Walla Walla Valley.

The team has performed well on the field as well, including two division titles and a trip to the WCL Championship Series since 2010. More than 40 former Sweets have been drafted by Major League Baseball teams, including Jonathan Harris (2013, Missouri State) as the first former Sweet to be selected in the first round (Toronto Blue Jays, 2015).

Following the 2013 season, Fraser and his partners added a second team to the PBV umbrella, with the WCL’s Yakima Valley Pippins (http://pippinsbaseball.com/), where Fraser maintains executive oversight of the front office led by general manager and Yakima native Jeff Garretson.   

He serves on the board of directors of the West Coast League (http://westcoastleague.com/), Visit Walla Walla (http://www.wallawalla.org/), the Walla Walla Symphony (http://www.wwsymphony.org/), the Walla Walla Warming Shelter committee and represents PBV’s interests with the Borleske Stadium Board. He is also a Rotarian.

A native of Fairport, NY and a proud Red Raider, Fraser and his wife live in Walla Walla, WA and have three children. 

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