Daniel Marc Snyder (born November 23, 1964) is a businessman who is
the majority owner of the
American football team,
Snyder Communications and primary investor in Red Zebra
Broadcasting, which is home to the Redskins Radio ESPN.
1 Early life and education
Washington Redskins football team ownership
3.1 Facility expansion
3.2 Committee appointments
3.3 Public backlash
3.4 Defamation suit
3.5 Name controversy
4 Other ventures
6 Personal life
8 External links
Early life and education
Snyder was born on November 23, 1964  in Maryland, the son of
Arlette (née Amsellem) and Gerald Seymour "Gerry" Snyder. His
family is Jewish. His father was a freelance writer who wrote
United Press International
United Press International and National Geographic. He attended
Hillandale Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland. At age 12, he
moved to Henley-on-Thames, a small town near London, where he attended
private school. At age 14, he returned to the United States and
lived with his grandmother in Queens, New York. A year later, his
family moved back to
Maryland and he graduated from Charles W.
Woodward High School in Rockville, Maryland. His first job was at
B. Dalton bookstore in the White Flint Mall.
At 17, Snyder experienced his first business failure when he partnered
with his father to sell bus-trip packages to
Washington Capitals fans
to see their hockey team play in Philadelphia. By age 20, he had
dropped out of the University of Maryland, College Park and was
running his own business, leasing jets to fly college students to
spring break in
Fort Lauderdale and the Caribbean. Snyder claims to
have cleared US$1 million running the business out of his parents'
bedroom with a friend and several telephone lines.
Snyder courted real estate entrepreneur Mortimer Zuckerman, whose US
News & World Report was also interested in the college market and
who agreed to finance his push to publish Campus USA, a magazine for
college students. Zuckerman and Fred Drasner, co-publisher of
Zuckerman's New York Daily News, invested $3 million in Campus USA.
The venture did not generate enough paid advertising and was forced to
close after two years.
In 1989, Snyder and his sister Michele founded a wallboard advertising
(the sale of advertisements placed on boards inside buildings) company
with seed money from his father, who took a second mortgage on his
property in England, and his sister, who maxed out her credit cards at
$35,000. They concentrated on wallboards in doctors' offices (where
there was a captive audience) and colleges. They married the
advertisement with the distribution of product samples — such as
soaps and packages of medicine – to differentiate themselves from
their competitors. The company was named
Snyder Communications LP.
The business was a great success and Snyder and his sister grew the
business organically and through acquisitions and expanded its
activities to all aspects of outsourced marketing, including direct
marketing, database marketing, proprietary product sampling, sponsored
information display in prime locations, call centers, and field
sales. They expanded their geography from colleges
and doctors' offices to hospital maternity areas, private daycare
centers, and Fixed Based Operations (FBO), or private aircraft lounges
in major airports throughout the country. In 1992,
the company expanded into telemarketing with a focus on the yet
untapped immigrant market.
Snyder Communications revenues rose from
$2.7 million in 1991 to $4.1 million in 1992 and $9 million in
1993. Proprietary product sampling was introduced in 1992 through
their network of private daycare centers.
In an initial public offering for SNC in September 1996, Daniel Snyder
became the youngest ever
CEO of a
New York Stock Exchange
New York Stock Exchange listed
company at the age of 32. Snyder's top investors, including media
mogul Barry Diller, New York investor Dan Lufkin, and Democratic Party
icon Robert Strauss, earned significant returns on their initial
Mortimer Zuckerman and Fred Drasner, whom Snyder owed
$3 million from the failure of his first business venture, were given
company stock, which ended up being worth over $500 million. His
parents sold their stock in the company for over $60 million.
He continued to expand the company aggressively through a string of
acquisitions, including Arnold Communications in 1997. By 1998, the
company had over 12,000 employees and $1 billion in annual
revenues. In April 2000,
Snyder Communications was sold to the
French advertising and marketing services group
Havas in an all-stock
transaction valued at in excess of US$2 billion, the largest
transaction in the history of the advertising/market industry[citation
needed]. Snyder's personal share of the proceeds was estimated to be
Washington Redskins football team ownership
In May 1999, Snyder purchased the Redskins and
Jack Kent Cooke
Jack Kent Cooke Stadium
(now FedExField) for $800 million following the death of previous
owner Jack Kent Cooke. At the time, it was the most expensive
transaction in sporting history. The deal was financed largely
through borrowed money, including $340 million borrowed from Société
Générale and $155 million debt assumed on the stadium.[citation
needed] Annual loan servicing costs are an estimated $50
million. In order to pay down the team's debt, in
2003 he sold 15% of the team to real estate developer
Dwight Schar for
$200 million, 15% to Florida financier Robert Rothman for a like
amount; and 5% to Frederick W. Smith, the founder of Federal Express,
leaving him with a 65% ownership interest.
Since Snyder became owner, the Redskins' annual revenue increased from
more than $100 million a year when Snyder took over the team in 1999
to around $245 million. As of 2014, the Redskins are the third
highest grossing team in the
National Football League
National Football League behind the
Dallas Cowboys, who are the team's biggest on-field rivals, and the
New England Patriots. This is in part due to sponsorship
arrangements with Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, and Sprint, but mainly
due to a $207 million deal with FedEx to gain naming rights to the
Redskins' stadium, now named FedExField.
As of 2017, Snyder serves on six
National Football League
National Football League committees,
including appointments to the Broadcast Committee, the Business
Ventures Committee, the Digital Media Committee (for which he serves
as Co-Chair), the International Committee, the Stadium Committee and
the Hall of Fame Committee (which oversees the Pro Football Hall of
Fame in Canton, Ohio). Separately, he is also a member of the
Board of Trustees of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Since Snyder bought the Redskins, the team has had a losing record
(132-171-1 through the end of the 2017 season). They have also
gone through eight head coaches in 17 seasons. In October 2009,
several articles in Washington area newspapers criticized Snyder,
alleging that his managerial style was partly to blame for the
Redskins' on-field struggles. A November 24, 2009 article
Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal also questioned whether Snyder's leadership
style had alienated the Redskins fan-base, questioning "Are the
Redskins Losing Washington?" The article quotes from a Harris
Interactive poll showing that whereas the Redskins in 2003 were the
6th most popular NFL team nationally, by 2009 they had fallen to No.
17, but in 2014 had climbed to #10.
After a 3–7 start to the 2009
Washington Redskins season, criticism
of Snyder and his general manager, Vinny Cerrato, escalated. Fans and
football analysts have criticized the revolving-door of Redskins head
coaches employed since Snyder bought the team, as well as Snyder and
Cerrato's pattern of hiring expensive free agents and trading away
draft picks for older players instead of recruiting young talent
through the NFL draft.
Vinny Cerrato resigned on December 17,
Under Snyder, the Redskins sued season ticket holders who were unable
to pay during the 2008–2009 U.S. recession. Snyder did this despite
his claim that there are over 200,000 people on the season ticket
Part way through the 2009 season, Snyder banned all signs from
FedExField, leading to further fan discontentment. The ban was
lifted shortly thereafter.
Writing in Forbes Magazine, Monte Burke states that disaster for
Snyder has made the team name controversy worse than it needed to be,
but there are others that also defend his position
Redskins fans have also expressed discontentment about rising ticket
and parking prices, and Snyder's policy of charging fans for tailgates
in special areas of the stadium lot. The Redskins did not raise
ticket prices from 2006 through 2012. Fans have also complained
about the game-day experience. While problems such as traffic and
parking were inherited when Snyder bought the team, and are outside of
his control, fans have expressed displeasure with Snyder led
initiatives that they feel distract from the enjoyment of attendance.
One fan explains:
There's too much hoopla ... Fireworks. Loud music. It's not about the
game anymore. They’re trying to generate excitement in an artificial
way. It's a distraction. Redskins fans are loyal and loud—they can
do it by themselves."
— Steve Lann, whose family has been a season ticket holder since
Threatening a lawsuit in January 2011, Snyder demanded dismissal of
Washington City Paper's sports writer Dave McKenna, who had penned a
lengthy article for the alternative newspaper called "The Cranky
Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder", creating a critical list of
controversies involving Snyder. McKenna had been needling Snyder for
years in his columns, and the front-page of the article had a defaced
picture of Snyder with Devil's Horns and a scraggly beard, which
incensed Snyder who felt the picture was antisemitic. Other
sportswriters have come out in support of McKenna. In a statement
released by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, while acknowledging that
public figures are fair game for criticism, said the artwork used by
the City Paper was reminiscent of "virulent anti-Semitism going back
to the Middle Ages" and urged the City Paper issue an apology. Mike
Madden of the City Paper issued a statement saying they take
accusations of antisemitism very seriously and said the artwork was
meant to "resemble the type of scribbling that teenagers everywhere
have been using to deface photos" and the cover art was not an
antisemitic caricature. Snyder made good on his threat, and on
February 2, 2011 filed suit against the City Paper. Two months later
McKenna was also added to the suit as a defendant. However less than
four months later in September 2011, Snyder dropped the suit against
Washington Redskins name controversy, Native American mascot
controversy, and Redskin (slang)
Snyder has been pressured to change the team's name by various fans,
politicians, and advocacy groups because the word redskin is a
derogatory term for Native Americans. In May 2013, in response to a
question regarding the teams' Federal Trademark, Snyder told USA Today
"We'll never change the name. It's that simple. NEVER—you can use
Snyder owned expansion rights to an
Arena Football League
Arena Football League team for the
Washington, D.C. market before the 2009 demise of the original
league. He purchased the rights to the team for $4 million in
1999. The team was going to be called the Washington Warriors and play
their games at the Comcast Center in 2003 but the team never
In 2005, he bought 12% of the stock of amusement park operator Six
Flags through his private equity company RedZone Capital. He later
gained control of the board placing his friend and ESPN executive Mark
CEO and himself as chairman. In April 2009, the New York
Stock Exchange delisted Six Flags' stock as it had fallen below the
minimal required market capitalization. In June 2009, Six Flags
announced that they were delaying a $15 million debt payment and two
Six Flags filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
As part of the reorganization, 92% of the company ended up in the
hands of their lenders and Dan Snyder and Mark Shapiro were
removed from their positions. Snyder lost his entire investment.
In July 2006, Snyder's
Red Zebra Broadcasting launched a trio of
sports radio stations in his home market of Washington, D.C. known as
Triple X ESPN Radio but, due to Snyder's perceived heavy-handedness,
referred to as 'Dan Jazeera'. He purchased other radio stations in
the mid-Atlantic region, and intends to broadcast coverage of
Washington Redskins games on all of his stations.
In July 2006, Snyder and other investors signed a deal to provide
financing to the production company run by
Tom Cruise and his partner,
Paula Wagner. This came one week after
Paramount Pictures severed its
ties with Cruise and Wagner. Snyder is credited as an executive
producer for the 2008 movie Valkyrie, which stars Cruise.
In February 2007, it was announced that Snyder's private equity firm
Red Zone Capital Management would purchase Johnny Rockets, the
1950s-themed diner chain. RedZone Capital Management sold the
Sun Capital Partners
Sun Capital Partners in 2013.
On June 19, 2007, Snyder purchased
Dick Clark Productions
Dick Clark Productions for $175
million. In 2012,
Dick Clark Productions
Dick Clark Productions was sold to a group
including investment firm Guggenheim Partners.
Snyder is an active philanthropist. He contributed $1 million to help
the victims of the September 11 attacks; he donated $600,000 to help
victims of Hurricane Katrina; and he paid the shipping costs for
charitable food shipments to aid those affected by the 2004 tsunami in
Indonesia and Thailand. His disaster relief efforts continued in 2016
following Hurricane Matthew, dispatching his private plane to provide
emergency supplies in the Bahamas and medical supplies to Hospital
Bernard Mevs in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
In 2000, Snyder founded the
Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation,
which is active in the Washington, D.C. area.
Snyder has been a long-time supporter of Youth For Tomorrow, an
organization founded by former Redskins head coach and Pro Football
Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs. In April 2010, the organization presented
Snyder with its Distinguished Leader Award.
In 2014, Snyder formed the
Washington Redskins Original Americans
Foundation to provide opportunities and resources to aid Tribal
communities. The foundation was formed to address the challenges in
the daily lives of Native Americans.
Snyder has also supported the Washington's Children's Hospital, the
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and other
organizations. In May 2014, Snyder and his wife Tanya received the
Charles B. Wang International Children's Award from the NCMEC.
In 1994, he married Tanya Ivey. Tanya Snyder is now a national
spokesperson for Breast Cancer Awareness, and a former fashion model
from Atlanta. They have three children.
In 2005, Snyder was inducted as a member of the Greater Washington
Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
In December 2004, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning
Commission fined Snyder $100 for cutting down more than 130 old-growth
trees near his $10 million
Maryland residence above the Chesapeake and
Ohio Canal National Historical Park and the
Potomac River without
first obtaining permission from the Commission, although the
National Park Service
National Park Service had signed off on the project. Lenn Harley, a
real estate broker who was not involved in Snyder's purchase of the
estate but was familiar with the area, estimated that the relatively
unobstructed view of the river and its surroundings that resulted from
Snyder's clearing could add $500,000 to $1 million to the home's
value. The controversy around the tree-cutting led to extreme
harassment and an eventual trial of the park ranger who stood up
against the park's actions regarding the trees.
Snyder owns a corporate jet, a Bombardier BD-700 Global Express
XRS with tail number N904DS and it is hangared at Dulles
International Airport. The tail sports a Redskin helmet.
^ Washington Jewish Week: "Five local Jews make Forbes richest list"
Archived September 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. October 7, 2009
^ a b Forbes Israel: Jewish Billionaires – Profile of Dan Snyder
April 14, 2013 (in Hebrew)
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Washingtonian:
"The Dan Snyder You Don't Know – To disgruntled fans, the Redskins
owner Is a spoiled rich kid who treats the team like a toy—and a
money machine. People close to him say it ain't so" By Harry Jaffe
September 1, 2006
^ "Forward Motion". The Washington Post. September 15, 2002.
^ USA Today: "Jerry Jones: Dan Snyder sensitive to Redskins name
controversy because he's Jewish" by Lindsay H. Jones October 13, 2013
^ Jewish Virtual Library: "Daniel Snyder" retrieved October 24, 2013
^ "Billionaire Profile: Daniel Snyder". MoneyedUp.com. Retrieved 21
^ Dan Patrick:Outtakes with Daniel Snyder
^ Nariyawala, Mehul (October 28, 2004). "EVC Lines Up Dan Snyder as
Luncheon Keynote for November 12 Conference" [Dan Snyder – From a
College Dropout to Billionaire Owner of Washington Redskins]. Chicago
Business. [permanent dead link]
^ Muoio, Anna (June 1997). "The Secrets of Their Success – and
Yours". Fast Company.
^ Einstein, David (September 8, 2000). "The Greening Of The Redskins".
^ Sandomir, Richard (27 April 1999). "Redskins are Sold for $800
Million". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
^ Maske, Mark (January 8, 2005). "NFL's Economic Model Shows Signs of
Strain". Washington Post.
^ "NFL Team Values:The Business of Football". Forbes. August
^ "NFL Team Valuations – #2: Washington Redskins". Forbes. September
^ "Redskins Owner Dan Snyder Appointed To NFL Stadium Committee".
Redskins.com. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
^ "Board of Trustees – Hall of Fame". Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Retrieved 13 May 2017.
^ White, Joseph (December 20, 2014). "Redskins need major changes to
start winning again". Washington Post.
^ "Coaches". Sports Encyclopedia. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
^ Wilbon, Michael (October 13, 2009). "Snyder Must Lead Redskins By
Getting Out of the Way". The Washington Post.
^ Jenkins, Sally (October 9, 2009). "In Unstable Condition". The
^ Daly, Dan (October 12, 2009). "Problems with Redskins' O-line start
at top". The Washington Times.
^ a b Albergotti, Reed (November 24, 2009). "Are the Redskins Losing
Washington". The Wall Street Journal.
^ "Cerrato resigns; Redskins hire Allen as GM". The Washington Times.
December 17, 2009.
^ Grimaldi, James V. (September 3, 2009). "
Washington Redskins React
to Fans' Tough Luck With Tough Love". The Washington Post. Retrieved
April 30, 2010.
^ a b c Chase, Chris (February 2, 2011). "Dan Snyder trying to get a
newspaper reporter fired". Shutdown Corner. Washington: Yahoo! Sports
^ Steinberg, Dan (October 27, 2009). "Redskins ban signs at
FedExField". The Washington Post.
^ Redskins reverse ban on fans bringing signs to FedExField. nfl.com.
July 26, 2012
^ Defending Dan Snyder. cbslocal.com. October 11, 2013
^ Monte Burke (October 12, 2013). "Distaste For Dan Snyder Is One Of
the Main Reasons The Redskins Name Controversy Is Gaining Momentum".
^ Leahy, Sean (October 29, 2009). "Redskins fans aim vitriol at Daniel
Snyder as team's heavy-handed tactics questioned". USA Today.
^ Redskins raise ticket prices. foxsports.com. June 2, 2014
^ McKenna, Dave (November 19, 2010). "The Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide
to Dan Snyder". The Washington City Paper. Washington. That's the Dan
Snyder who got caught forging names as a telemarketer with Snyder
Communications, made a great view of the
Potomac River for himself by
going all Agent Orange on federally protected lands, and lost over
$121 million of Bill Gates' money while selling an "official mattress"
while in charge of Six Flags.
^ Petchesky, Barry (February 3, 2011) Dan Snyder Cries Antisemitism In
Letter That Manages To Be Racist, Deadspin
^ Madden, Mike (September 10, 2011). "Dan Snyder Drops Lawsuit Against
Washington City Paper, Dave McKenna." washingtoncitypaper.com.
^ Brady, Erik (May 9, 2013) "
Daniel Snyder says Redskins will never
change name". USA Today
^ McCarthy, Michael (December 19, 2006). "ESPN buys stake in Arena
Football". USA Today.
^ Russell, Jack (March 1, 2016). "Eight Redskins connections to the
Arena Football League". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved March 10,
^ Atlanta Business Journal: "
Six Flags delisted". bizjournals.com.
April 9, 2009
^ J. de la Merced, Michael (June 13, 2009) "
Six Flags Files for
Bankruptcy". New York Times
^ Bloomberg: "
Six Flags Would Be Owned by Lenders Under Proposal
(Update2)" By Steven Church August 21, 2009
^ Worcester Telegram: "Chairman off
Six Flags board" May 2, 2010
^ Adler, Neil (August 28, 2006). "Dan Snyder accepts latest mission:
Tom Cruise". The Washington Business Journal.
^ "Daniel M. Snyder – Fandango". Fandango.
^ Sorkin, Andrew Ross (February 9, 2007). "Footballs, Funhouses and
Fries". The New York Times.
^ Luna, Nancy (June 18, 2013). "O.C.-based burger chain Johnny Rockets
sold". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
^ Lieberman, David (June 19, 2007). "Dan Snyder buys Dick Clark's TV,
music company". USA Today. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
^ "Investment firm picks up Dick Clark Productions". Entertainment
Weekly. September 4, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
^ "Dan Snyder sends plane to Bahamas to assist with hurricane relief".
CSN Mid-Atlantic. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
^ Andrews-Dyer, Helena. "Redskins player Pierre Garçon heads to Haiti
on team owner Dan Snyder's private jet". The Washington Post. The
Washington Post. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
^ "Washington Redskins: Daniel Snyder". Redskins.com. Retrieved 13 May
^ "Faces & Places". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved 13 May
Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation".
^ Harris, Hamil R. (1 March 2001). "Touched by Own Daughter's Crisis,
Snyder Assists Children's Causes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 13
^ Walker, Andrew. "Snyders Honored At Hope Awards". Redskins.com.
Retrieved 2 May 2014.
^ a b Battista, Judy (September 25, 2009) "Wife of Redskins Owner
Finds Her Voice in Cancer Fight". New York Times
^ Redskins.com: "Tanya Snyder Opens Redskins Style Lounge" By Daniel
Zimmet December 9, 2012
^ The World's Billionaires – Dan Snyder. Forbes
^ "Greater Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame". Bender JCC of
Greater Washington. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
^ Craig, Tim (March 16, 2005). "Park Service Could Profit From
Allowing Snyder To Clear His Land". The Washington Post.
^ Smith, Rick (March 14, 2012). "Review of: Worth Fighting For: A Park
Ranger's Unexpected Battle against Federal Bureaucrats &
Washington Redskins Owner Dan Snyder". Archived from the original on
April 18, 2012.
^ Photo Search Results Airliners.net
Daniel Snyder on IMDb
Boston Braves / Boston Redskins /
Washington Redskins principal owners
George Preston Marshall
George Preston Marshall (1932–1969)
George Preston Marshall
George Preston Marshall (1969–1970)
Edward Bennett Williams
Edward Bennett Williams (1970–1974)
Jack Kent Cooke
Jack Kent Cooke (1974–1997)
Jack Kent Cooke
Jack Kent Cooke (1997–1999)
Daniel Snyder (1999– )
Current owners of the National Football League
American Football Conference
Kim Pegula (Buffalo Bills)
Stephen M. Ross
Stephen M. Ross (Miami Dolphins)
Robert Kraft (New England Patriots)
Woody Johnson (New York Jets)
Steve Bisciotti (Baltimore Ravens)
Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals)
Dee Haslam (Cleveland Browns)
Rooney family (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Bob McNair (Houston Texans)
Jim Irsay (Indianapolis Colts)
Shahid Khan (Jacksonville Jaguars)
KSA Industries (Tennessee Titans)
Pat Bowlen (Denver Broncos)
Clark Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs)
Alex Spanos (Los Angeles Chargers)
Mark and Carol Davis (Oakland Raiders)
National Football Conference
Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys)
John Mara and
Steve Tisch (New York Giants)
Jeffrey Lurie (Philadelphia Eagles)
Daniel Snyder (Washington Redskins)
Virginia Halas McCaskey (Chicago Bears)
Martha Firestone Ford (Detroit Lions)
Green Bay Packers, Inc.
Green Bay Packers, Inc. (governed by a Board of Directors) (Green Bay
Zygi Wilf (Minnesota Vikings)
Arthur Blank (Atlanta Falcons)
Jerry Richardson (Carolina Panthers)
Gayle Benson (New Orleans Saints)
Glazer Family (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Bill Bidwill (Arizona Cardinals)
Stan Kroenke (Los Angeles Rams)
John and Denise York (San Francisco 49ers)
Paul Allen (Seattle Seahawks)