Owner, Akron RubberDucks
Chapter Board - Cleveland
"As a coach, leader, and most importantly a father, the lessons and mission of Positive Coaching Alliance are never more important than they are to me today. I’m proud to be a part of such a wonderful organization making an important difference in communities across the country. My first exposure to PCA came when I purchased the Akron RubberDucks baseball team in 2012. [My Dad (Lon Babby) serves on the PCA board in Phoenix]. In communities like Akron, kids are exposed to better coaching, better experiences and better life lessons on and off the field because of PCA." – Ken Babby
Ken Babby became Owner and Chief Executive Officer of the Akron RubberDucks, Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, in October 2012 when he purchased the then-named Akron Aeros.
Babby is the founder of Fast Forward Sports Group LLC, through which he additionally purchased the then-named Jacksonville Suns, Double-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, in September 2015, becoming the youngest multi-franchise owner in professional sports. Following the 2016 season, the Suns started a new identity as the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
Akron RubberDucks baseball has taken flight under Babby. In five seasons, the franchise’s second-ever owner has invested more than $7 million into Akron’s Canal Park, including one of the largest HD videoboards in the minor leagues, with attendance increasing by 28 percent.
Following a successful identity change after the 2013 season, the team went on to win Minor League Baseball’s prestigious Larry MacPhail Award as the top promotional team in 2015. The 2016 season was packed with accolades for the RubberDucks, including an Eastern League championship, with the franchise hosting the Eastern League All-Star Game and Home Run Derby for the first time, and the club’s nomination for the John H. Johnson President’s Award, which honors Minor League Baseball’s “most complete franchise.”
Babby was named one of Sports Business Journal's 2016 "Forty Under 40," recognizing excellence and innovation in sports business careers, and he was an Entrepreneur of the Year® 2017 Award winner. In 2015, Crain’s Cleveland Business also honored him as one of its local 2015 “Forty Under 40” awards.
Babby, 39, is a Potomac, Maryland, native who spent 13 years with The Washington Post, rising to positions such as Vice President, Advertising, and Chief Revenue Officer of Washington Post Media and General Manager of Washington Post Digital.
He is an Akron resident and a visible presence at RubberDucks and Jumbo Shrimp games, as well in the local communities where he serves on several boards. Ken is married to wife, Liz, and has a ten-year-old son, Josh.