As Founder, CEO and Chief Executive Athlete of the visionary ION® Network, Dave Behar leads the business, marketing and visual development of perhaps the world’s largest focused, sports specific channel network, the ION Sports Network (featuring ION U, ION High, ION Mid and over 150 different sports), the ION Kids, ION Family, ION Health, ION Nutrition, ION Music, ION Faith with distribution over the ION Local Network, serving thousands of communities worldwide.
ION Studios now successfully creates and efficiently broadcasts local news, sports and thousands of lifestyle topics across its own local network of over 25,000 Channels, (Internet, Television, Mobile), and syndication of shows to thousands of affiliates, available worldwide and in all North American cities.
An early pioneer and champion of leading edge technology, social media, e-commerce and revenue generation, Dave routinely enjoys spreading the gospel about brand and business development, original programming, personalization, personal channels and the convergence of television and Internet, which led to the early formation of ION and its well-known call letters and personality.
Prior to founding ION, Dave founded and led Avenue I, a profitable brand, sports and technology consultancy, including Powerbar, Molten, adidas, 24 Hour Fitness, 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games, other major events and iBrands, focused sports brands that preceded the ION Network, and now sells successfully in focused retailers nationwide.
HotMail (MSFT) benefited from Dave at its early stage, as he built many of the “killer apps” business development, subscription models and marketing plans that enabled early financial success and helped lead to the eventual historic $400 million dollar acquisition by Microsoft.
Fresh out of San Diego State University, Team and Action Sports is in his DNA. Dave founded, led and then later sold the wildly successful volleyball sportswear and product brand and pioneer I DIG, which he quickly grew to International distribution. He also invented the category of beach volleyball footwear and revolutionized the optic beach volleyball market leading to major endorsements and retail sales leadership. Helping lead and sponsor the development of Pro Beach Volleyball in Australia with Nestle was another win.
At Avenue I and its predecessor Behar Network, Dave designed the famous “West Coast Style” PAC-10 Conference identity / brand, and created the PAC-10’s (now the PAC-12) successful Licensing and Media Promotion practice from scratch, which led to the formation of the Liberty Media / Fox Sports joint venture PAC-10 Properties. The PAC-12, “The Conference of Champions®”, is the country’s winningest Athletic Conference in the NCAA and enjoys one of the largest television contracts and Interactive viewership in sports today.
Dave also created the comprehensive brand development structure and marketing profile for McDavid, the leader in Sports Medicine and Protective Apparel, including HexPad Technology – effectively enabling a new $250 million category that quickly became “standard issue” for most athletes in the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, Professional and Youth Lacrosse, Soccer, Volleyball, MMA, Rugby, and Universities worldwide – combined with unmistakable retail placement and demand. Dave’s signing and development of key endorsement relationships including NBA’s future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade that helped trigger additional explosive retail and grass roots growth.
Dave created the revolutionary “new” category “Performance Surf Footwear” combining warmth, traction, protection and performance attributes for surfers and other water sports athletes worldwide. It helps to be a waterman.
More recently, new ventures have included high level, highly successful business development in the Social Media, Social Commerce, Natural Products / Nutrition markets and Economic Development for municipalities and destinations.
In his spare time, Dave enjoys spending quality time with his awesome wife and kids, golfing, surfing, skateboarding, playing beach volleyball plus other sports, coaching youth sports, designing homes and testing his culinary “skills” on friends.