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Ahron Cohen

Biography

Ahron is a business executive, civic leader, investor, philanthropist, thought leader, attorney and board member whose career spans the fields of sports, entertainment, media, finance, hospitality and emerging technology. He currently serves as a Venture Partner with the ADvantage Sports Tech Fund, an early-stage venture capital firm formed as a joint venture between leAD Sports—the investment arm of the descendants of Adidas Founder Adi Dassler—and OurCrowd, the largest and most active Israeli venture fund. The fund is focused exclusively on investments relating to sports technology and its core vision is to shape the future of global sports. He also serves as the Founder and CEO of Polar Sun Ventures, a strategic advisory and equity investment firm with an investment thesis primarily focused in the sports, entertainment and emerging technology sectors. Within his capacity as CEO of Polar Sun Ventures, Ahron serves as a Strategic Partner and Special Advisor to the Founders and ownership group of WAGMI United—a sports holding company with primary investors in the venture capital and crypto/NFT space. In this context, Ahron advised WAGMI in its purchase of English Football League club Crawley Town FC, along with continued advisory work to support WAGMI’s ongoing operations, commercialization strategy and strategic planning. Previously, Ahron led the Arizona Coyotes organization as its President, CEO and Alternate Governor. During his time as CEO of the Coyotes, the club posted record-setting results in every major business metric, including franchise-record increases in ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, premium seating, merchandise, food & beverage and TV ratings. The organization was widely recognized as a best-in-class franchise for fan experience, including a top 3 ranking in the NHL by J.D. Power & Associates for overall customer satisfaction results. Cohen also closed the largest non-naming rights corporate sponsorship in franchise history, consisting of a multi-year and multi-million dollar integrated sponsorship with Mountain America Credit Union. During his time as CEO, the Coyotes posted the largest percentage increase in sponsorship revenues among all NHL clubs. Cohen placed a significant emphasis on innovative and engaging content creation and distribution through the club’s digital and social platforms. This led to the third highest social media engagement rate during the 19-20 season among all NHL teams. Cohen also spearheaded a partnership with Facebook to launch the NHL’s first Facebook Pilot Program—a program heralded by the Sports Business Journal as one of 5 initiatives throughout the entire sports landscape to be nominated for the “Best in Social Media” award at the annual Sports Business Awards. To further his strategic vision of developing highly engaging and entertaining content, Cohen hired NHL media personality and former player, Paul Bissonnette (currently NHL on TNT host and Barstool Sports podcast host), to his first post-playing career job as the club’s first- ever Content Brand Ambassador and media personality. Just as important, Cohen set the tone for sports team philanthropy by leading the organization to donate a record-setting $3.4 million into the Arizona community during his final year as CEO. During his time leading the Coyotes, the club saw a 106% increase in its yearly philanthropic contributions. He also created a mandate for all Coyotes employees to donate at least 15 hours each year towards community service. Ahron also championed empowering diverse perspectives in the organization by drastically increasing the number of females on the executive management team (3rd highest percentage of female executives in the NHL) and being the first team in the NHL to hire a female hockey ambassador in Lyndsey Fry. According to the former Athletic reporter Craig Morgan, “Cohen’s greatest legacy with the Coyotes will likely be the inclusive and responsive relationship he developed with the greater community.” Before becoming President & CEO, Ahron rose through the ranks of the organization, first serving as its Chief Legal Officer and thereafter its COO. Cohen is significantly involved in the greater Phoenix business and philanthropic communities. For his commitment to bettering the Arizona community, Cohen was named as the 2019 recipient of the Torch of Liberty Award by the Arizona chapter of the Anti-Defamation League. The award is given yearly to one local Arizona leader, including prior recipients Senator John McCain and Jerry Colangelo. Cohen was also named as a finalist for the 2019 Phoenix Business Journal Businessperson of the Year as selected by the Phoenix Business Journal’s editorial board. He was further honored as a 40 Under 40 award winner by the Sports Business Journal in 2020 and the Phoenix Business Journal in 2019. Cohen currently serves or previously served on the board or as a member of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Arizona Tourism and Lodging Association, the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the ASU Sports Law and Business Advisory Board, the ASU College of Law Alumni Board, the Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona Advisory Board, Greater Phoenix Leadership (Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee), and the Arizona Coyotes Foundation. Prior to joining the Coyotes, Cohen practiced as a corporate lawyer at Arizona’s largest law firm, Snell & Wilmer. During his time at Snell & Wilmer, Cohen served as counsel to the 2015 Super Bowl Host Committee. Prior to joining Snell & Wilmer, Cohen worked as a Legal & Business Affairs intern for the Minnesota Vikings, directly reporting to current Big Ten Conference Commissioner Kevin Warren (previously the Chief Legal Officer for the Minnesota Vikings). Cohen attended law school at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and served as an Editor of the Law Review. Prior to law school, he attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where he was a four-year letter winner on the varsity football team and earned All-American honors by the National Strength & Conditioning Association. In his senior year, Cohen helped lead the Polar Bears football team to its best record since 1970. Cohen resides in Phoenix with his wife, Dana, and two sons, Carson (5) and Cameron (3).

REGISTRATION

08:00 AM

WELCOME REMARKS – Governor Holcomb

09:00 AM

PANEL – Sports Betting & DFS

09:20 AM

PANEL: How Connected Fitness Became the New Obsession

10:20 AM

PANEL: Data Analysis and Athlete Development

11:30 AM

LUNCH & NETWORKING

12:30 PM

Fireside Chat #1

1:30 PM

PANEL: Sports Media

02:15 PM

PANEL: NIL/Creator Economy

03:10 PM

PANEL: How Esports & Gaming became a billion dollar industry

04:00 PM

PANEL: Fan Engagement

04:55 PM

Fireside Chat #2

05:45 PM

Drinks/Food @ NCAA

06.30 PM

REGISTRATION

08:00 AM

PANEL: VC PANAL

09:00 AM

Techstars Sports Demo Day

10:00 AM

LUNCH & NETWORKING

11:45 AM

PANEL: Pro athletes transitioning as Investors/Operators

1:00 PM

Fireside Chat

02:00 PM

PANEL: Pro Sports Franchises Innovating around Technology

03:10 PM

PANEL: NFTs & Digital Collectables

04:10 PM

KEYNOTE: Lemon Perfect founder story

05:20 PM

FOOD & DRINKS

07:00 PM