As Founder, CEO and Chief Executive Athlete of the leading edge ION Network “enabling mill.ions to succeed”, Dave Behar leads the original programming, business, marketing of the world’s largest focused, sports specific channel network, the ION Sports Network (featuring over 150 different sports), ION Kids, ION Family Network and the ION Local Network, serving 25,000+ communities worldwide. The Network of Champ.ions™ enables local businesses to increase and maximize their market reach or hyper-target to multiple categories or lifestyle markets.
ION Studios now successfully creates and efficiently broadcasts local news, sports and hundreds of lifestyle topics across its own network of thousands of multi-platform Local Channels, mobile, and syndication of shows to thousands of affiliates, available worldwide and in all U.S. and Canadian cities.
An early pioneer and champion of leading edge technology, new media, and e-commerce, Dave routinely enjoys spreading the gospel about product innovation, multi-platform brand and business development, original programming, personalization, personal channels and the convergence of mobile, 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, Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games, and other major events and iBrands, focused sports brands that preceded the ION Network, and now sells successfully in focused ecommerce retailers nationwide. avenue i is now a multi-functional digital business development vehicle for small, medium and large companies worldwide – and avenue i has transformed into one of the world’s most innovative distribution platforms for digital media.
Team and Action Sports has always been in his DNA. Fresh out of San Diego State University, Dave founded, led and then later sold the wildly successful volleyball sportswear and product brand I DIG, which successfully grew to International distribution in dozens of countries. In addition to pioneering “volleywear”, he invented the category of beach volleyball footwear and revolutionized the optic beach volleyball market leading to major endorsements and retail sales leadership. The famous “Pro Pink” and “Kong Block” (endorsed by Randy Stoklos) helped lead the retail ball category and Behar later designed Molten’s signature volleyballs for Olympic Gold Medalists Kent Steffes and Karch Kiraly.
Behar and I DIG were instrumental in developing the sport of Pro Beach Volleyball in Australia, helping launch the Tour with Nestle Ice Cafe. Closer to home, Behar created the first and nationally televised Legends of Pro Beach Volleyball with Chris Marlowe (introducing Coors Light into televised Pro Beach Volleyball) and created the first Six Man Pro Beach Volleyball World Championships.
Behar, as a player, had multiple victorious “non-tour” moments – including playing backrow specialist for Wilt Chamberlain on a successful Manhattan Beach Surf Festival team led by Olympic Team Coach Gary Sato, and a top five finish in Estero Beach with Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame Legend Bob “Vogie” Voglesang.
At Avenue I predecessor Behar Network, Dave designed the famous PAC-10 Conference identity / brand (now the PAC-12), and drove the shift of College Conference Integrated Marketing forever, creating the PAC-10’s successful Licensing and Media Promotion practice from scratch, which led to the formation of PAC-10 Properties, originally a joint venture with Liberty Media and FOX Sports. The PAC-12 “Conference of Champions” is the country’s winningest Athletic Conference in the NCAA and enjoys the largest television and multi-media contracts in collegiate sports today.
Dave also created the comprehensive brand development and marketing profile for McDavid, the leader in Sports Medicine and Protective Apparel, including the innovative HexPad Technology – effectively enabling a new $250+ million category to emerge that quickly became “standard issue” for most athletes and teams in the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, Professional and Youth Lacrosse, Soccer, Volleyball, MMA, Rugby, and Major Universities worldwide – combined with unmistakable retail placement and demand. Dave’s signing and development of key events and endorsement relationships including negotiating innovative deals with NBA stars Dwyane Wade and Corey Maggette helping trigger explosive worldwide growth.
Later, Dave created the revolutionary new category of “Performance Surf Footwear” for the Action Sports market, combining warmth, traction, protection and performance attributes for surfers, Stand-Up Paddlers and other water sports athletes worldwide.
HotMail (MSFT) also benefited from Dave at its early stage, as he built many of the “killer app’s” business development, subscription models and marketing plans (before there were models to follow) that enabled early financial success and helped lead to the eventual historic $400+ million dollar acquisition by Microsoft.
In his spare time, Dave enjoys spending quality time with his kids, traveling, surfing, public speaking, playing beach volleyball, coaching youth, designing homes and testing his culinary “skills” on friends.