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Updated: April 17, 2024

Former DraftKings executive to lead new Portland pro soccer team

Less than two weeks before Portland's new pro soccer team unveils its name and branding, the team has hired a former DraftKings Inc. executive with experience in the sport to serve as president and chief business officer.

Man portrait
Photo / Soubanh Phanthay
Kevin Schohl

Kevin Schohl, currently living in Massachusetts, will move to Maine for his new job after close to six years with DraftKings, the Boston-based fantasy sports contest and sports betting company.

Prior to that he worked for AMB Sports and Entertainment, the umbrella company for the Atlanta Falcons pro football team and the Atlanta United FC pro soccer team, which he helped launch.

"I wanted to get back into the world of team sports, and also something smaller and more entrepreneurial," he told Mainebiz in a telephone interview.

Schohl, a graduate of Boston College, earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and has also worked at Bain & Co. as a consultant.

Still home-shopping in Maine, he said his family will be looking for "anything between Kennebunk and Freeport."

The team is being launched by Gabe Hoffman-Johnson in partnership with Redfern Properties owners Jonathan and Catherine Culley, who were recently honored as Mainebiz Business Leaders of the Year. The team will play in the USL League One starting in 2025 and reveal its name and logo at a public event later this month. (See below for details.)

"I'm getting in here just in time to celebrate the launch of this club," Schohl said.  As the team looks to line up sponsors, he said there have already been "interesting" conversations with potential partners.

With Schohl taking charge of business operations, Hoffman-Johnson will serve as vice chairman and chief community officer, he told Mainebiz in a separate interview.

"At this stage of the club's evolution, it's really important to bring someone in with good operating experience to really run the business side," he said. "We have goals of being the best-run lower division soccer club in the country. In order to do that, I think you've got to bring in A-plus people, and Kevin is that individual."

File Photo / Jim Neuger
Gabe Hoffman-Johnson is the founder of USL to Portland, a pro soccer team whose name and branding will be revealed on April 27.

Hoffman-Johnson also said that having Schohl on board will free him up to "continue to build the vision and mission and community aspect of this club, both on and off the field."

The team has also hired a director of operations and vice president of marketing and is advertising for other positions, and eventually will employ up to 20 staff members.

With a lease agreement in place to play at Portland's Fitzpatrick Stadium, Hoffman-Johnson said the current focus is on getting the city's approval for improvements including new locker rooms, lights and seating.

"We're looking to thread the needle between how do we least impact the current programming over there this summer," he said. "The improvements aren't going to be disruptors to stadium use."

Event information

USL to Portland's Brand Release Fan Fest will take place at Brick South at Thompson's Point on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be food trucks and games, and ticket sales for the team's inaugural season.

The event is open to the public and more information is available here.

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