(born November 23, 1964) is a businessman who is the majority owner of theteam, founder ofSnyder Communicationsand primary investor inRed Zebra Broadcasting, which is home to theRedskins Radio ESPN.
Snyder was born on November 23, 19642in Maryland,34the son of Arlette (ne Amsellem) and Gerald Seymour Gerry Snyder.56His family isJewish.378His father was a freelance writer who wrote forUnited Press InternationalandNational Geographic.4He attended Hillandale Elementary School inSilver Spring, Maryland. At age 12, he moved toHenley-on-Thames, a small town near London, where he attended private school.4At age 14, he returned to the United States and lived with his grandmother inQueens, New York. A year later, his family moved back to Maryland and he graduated fromCharles W. Woodward High SchoolinRockville, Maryland.4His first job was atB. Daltonbookstore in theWhite Flint Mall.4
At 17, Snyder experienced his first business failure when he partnered with his father to sell bus-trip packages toWashington Capitalsfans to see their hockey team play in Philadelphia.9By age 20, he had dropped out of theUniversity of Maryland, College Park10and was running his own business, leasing jets to fly college students tospring breakinFort Lauderdaleand the Caribbean.4Snyder claims to have cleared US$1 million running the business out of his parents bedroom with a friend and several telephone lines.11
Snyder courted real estate entrepreneurMortimer Zuckerman, whoseUS News & World Reportwas also interested in the college market and who agreed to finance his push to publishCampus USA, a magazine for college students.4Zuckerman andFred Drasner, co-publisher of ZuckermansNew York Daily News, invested $3 million inCampus USA.4The venture did not generate enough paid advertising and was forced to close after two years.4
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 $35,000.4They 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.4The company was namedSnyder Communications LP. The business was a great success and Snyder and his sister grew the business organically and through acquisitions4and expanded its activities to all aspects of outsourced marketing, includingdirect marketingdatabase marketing, proprietary product sampling, sponsored information display in prime locations, call centers, and field sales.citation neededThey 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.citation neededIn 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 1993.4Proprietary product sampling was introduced in 1992 through their network of private daycare centers.citation needed
In aninitial public offeringfor SNC in September 1996, Daniel Snyder became the youngest everCEOof aNew York Stock Exchangelisted company at the age of 32.12Snyders top investors, including media mogulBarry Diller, New York investorDan Lufkin, and Democratic Party iconRobert Strauss, earned significant returns on their initial investment.4Mortimer 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.4His parents sold their stock in the company for over $60 million.4
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.4In April 2000, Snyder Communications was sold to the French advertising and marketing services groupHavasin an all-stock transaction valued at in excess of US$2 billion, the largest transaction in the history of the advertising/market industrycitation needed. Snyders personal share of the proceeds was estimated to be US$300 million.13
In May 1999, Snyder purchased the Redskins andJack Kent Cooke Stadium(now FedExField) for $800 million following the death of previous ownerJack Kent Cooke.4At the time, it was the most expensive transaction in sporting history.14The deal was financed largely through borrowed money, including $340 million borrowed fromSocit Gnraleand $155 million debt assumed on the stadium.citation neededAnnual loan servicing costs are an estimated $50 million.citation neededIn order to pay down the teams debt, in 2003 he sold 15% of the team to real estate developerDwight Scharfor $200 million, 15% to Florida financier Robert Rothman for a like amount; and 5% toFrederick W. Smith, the founder ofFederal Express, leaving him with a 65% ownership interest.4
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.15As of 2014, the Redskins are the third highest grossing team in theNational Football Leaguebehind theDallas Cowboys, who are the teamsbiggest on-field rivals, and theNew England Patriots.16This is in part due to sponsorship arrangements withAnheuser-BuschCoca-Cola, andSprint, but mainly due to a $207 million deal withFedExto gain naming rights to the Redskins stadium, now namedFedExField.17
As of 2017, Snyder serves on six 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).18Separately, he is also a member of the Board of Trustees of thePro Football Hall of Fame.19
Since Snyder bought the Redskins, the team has had a losing record (139-180-1 through the end of the 2018 season).20They have also gone through eight head coaches in 17 seasons.21In 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.222324A November 24, 2009 article in theWall Street Journalalso questioned whether Snyders leadership style had alienated the Redskins fan base, questioning Are the Redskins Losing Washington?25The 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 37 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 Cerratos pattern of hiring expensive free agents and trading away draft picks for older players instead of recruiting young talent through the NFL draft.25Vinny Cerrato resigned on December 17, 2009.26
Under Snyder, the Redskins sued season ticket holders who were unable to pay during the 20082009 U.S. recession. Snyder did this despite his claim that there are over 200,000 people on the season ticket waiting list.27
Part way through the 2009 season, Snyder banned all signs from FedExField, leading to further fan discontentment.2829The ban was lifted shortly thereafter.30
Writing inForbesmagazine, Monte Burke states that distaste for Snyder has made the team name controversy worse than it needed to be, but there are others that also defend his position3132
Redskins fans have also expressed discontentment about rising ticket and parking prices, and Snyders policy of charging fans for tailgates in special areas of the stadium lot.33The Redskins did not raise ticket prices from 2006 through 2012.34Fans have also complained about the game-day experience.4While 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:
Theres too much hoopla … Fireworks. Loud music. Its not about the game anymore. Theyre trying to generate excitement in an artificial way. Its a distraction. Redskins fans are loyal and loudthey can do it by themselves.4
Threatening a lawsuit in January 2011, Snyder demanded dismissal ofWashington City Papers sports writer Dave McKenna, who had penned a lengthy article for thealternative newspapercalled The Cranky Redskins Fans Guide to Dan Snyder,35creating 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 withDevils Hornsand a scraggly beard, which incensed Snyder who felt the picture was antisemitic.36Other sportswriters have come out in support of McKenna.37In a statement released by theSimon 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.38Snyder 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 both parties.39
Snyder has been pressured tochange the teams nameby various fans, politicians, and advocacy groups because the wordredskinis aderogatory term for Native Americans. In May 2013, in response to a question regarding the teams Federal Trademark, Snyder told USA Today Well never change the name. Its that simple. NEVERyou can use caps.40
Snyder owned expansion rights to anArena Football Leagueteam for the Washington, D.C. market before the 2009 demise of the original league.41He 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 theComcast Centerin 2003 but the team never started.42
In 2005, he bought 12% of the stock of amusement park operatorSix Flagsthrough his private equity company RedZone Capital. He later gained control of the board placing his friend and ESPN executiveMark Shapiroas CEO and himself as chairman.4In April 2009, the New York Stock Exchange delisted Six Flags stock as it had fallen below the minimal required market capitalization.43In June 2009, Six Flags announced that they were delaying a $15 million debt payment and two weeks later, Six Flags filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.44As part of the reorganization, 92% of the company ended up in the hands of their lenders45and Dan Snyder and Mark Shapiro were removed from their positions. Snyder lost his entire investment.46
In July 2006, SnydersRed Zebra Broadcastinglaunched a trio ofsports radiostations in his home market of Washington, D.C. known asTriple X ESPN Radiobut, due to Snyders perceived heavy-handedness, referred to as Dan Jazeera.28He purchased other radio stations in the mid-Atlantic region, and intends to broadcast coverage of Washington Redskins games on all of his stations.4
In July 2006, Snyder and other investors signed a deal to provide financing to the production company run byTom Cruiseand his partner,Paula Wagner. This came one week afterParamount Picturessevered its ties with Cruise and Wagner.47Snyder is credited as an executive producer for the 2008 movieValkyrie, which stars Cruise.48
In February 2007, it was announced that Snyders private equity firm Red Zone Capital Management4would purchaseJohnny Rockets, the 1950s-themed diner chain.49RedZone Capital Management sold the company toSun Capital Partnersin 2013.50
On June 19, 2007, Snyder purchasedDick Clark Productionsfor $175 million.51In 2012, Dick Clark Productions was sold to a group including investment firmGuggenheim Partners.52
He contributed $1 million to help the victims of theSeptember 11 attacks; he donated $600,000 to help victims ofHurricane Katrina; and he paid the shipping costs for charitable food shipments to aid those affected by the2004 tsunamiinIndonesiaandThailand. His disaster relief efforts continued in 2016 followingHurricane Matthew, dispatching his private plane to provide emergency supplies in the Bahamas and medical supplies to Hospital Bernard Mevs in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.5354
In 2000, Snyder founded the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, which is active in the Washington, D.C. area.55
Snyder has been a long-time supporter of Youth For Tomorrow, an organization founded by former Redskins head coach and Pro Football Hall of FamerJoe Gibbs. In April 2010, the organization presented Snyder with its Distinguished Leader Award.56
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.57
Snyder has also supported the Washingtons Childrens Hospital, theNational Center for Missing and Exploited Children(NCMEC), and other organizations.58In May 2014, Snyder and his wife Tanya received the Charles B. Wang International Childrens Award from the NCMEC.59
In 2004, Snyder brokered a deal with theNational Park Serviceto removeold growthtrees from the 200 feet (61m) of national parkland behind his home to grant him a better view of thePotomac River, on the condition that Snyder would replace the trees with 600 native saplings. Lenn Harley, areal estate brokerwho was not involved in Snyders 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 Snyders clearing could add $500,000 to $1 million to his $10 million homes value.60Theclearcuttingwas started without approval fromMontgomery County, Maryland, and withoutenvironmental assessments, as required by law. As a result, Snyder was fined $100 by theMaryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commissionin December 2004. Snyders neighbors also filed complaints regarding his clearcutting of scenic and historic easements behind his home.61
The NPS ranger that investigated the complaints of Snyders neighbors and clearcutting along the Potomac was transferred multiple times due to his continued pursuit of the complaints and the Snyder property. Eventually, the NPS ranger filed awhistleblowercomplaint regarding the Snyder case. Later, the rangers anonymity as a whistleblower was lost, potentially leading to extreme harassment and a trial of the park ranger, ultimately ending the rangers career.62Snyder has still not replanted the trees and has faced no other consequences aside from his fine.63
In 1994, he married Tanya Ivey, a former fashion model fromAtlanta. Tanya Snyder is now a national spokesperson forbreast cancerawareness.46465They have three children.6466
In 2005, Snyder was inducted as a member of the Greater Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.67
Snyder owns a corporate jet, aBombardier BD-700 Global Express XRS68with tail number N904DS and it is hangared atDulles International Airport. The tail sports a Redskin helmet.
On February 1, 2019, theLos Angeles Timesfeatured Mr. Snyders second yacht, which contains an IMAX theater, in an op-ed titled, America is falling out of love with billionaires, and its about time.69
September 5, 2012, at theWayback MachineOctober 7, 2009
Forbes Israel: Jewish Billionaires Profile of Dan SnyderApril 14, 2013 (
Washingtonian: The Dan Snyder You Dont Know To disgruntled fans, the Redskins owner Is a spoiled rich kid who treats the team like a toyand a money machine. People close to him say it aint so By Harry JaffeSeptember 1, 2006
USA Today: Jerry Jones: Dan Snyder sensitive to Redskins name controversy because hes Jewish by Lindsay H. JonesOctober 13, 2013
Jewish Virtual Library: Daniel Snyderretrieved October 24, 2013
Nariyawala, Mehul (October 28, 2004).EVC Lines Up Dan Snyder as Luncheon Keynote for November 12 ConferenceDan Snyder From a College Dropout to Billionaire Owner of Washington Redskins. Chicago Business.
Muoio, Anna (June 1997).The Secrets of Their Success and Yours. Fast Company.
Einstein, David (September 8, 2000).The Greening Of The Redskins. Forbes.
Sandomir, Richard (April 27, 1999).Redskins are Sold for $800 Million.
Maske, Mark (January 8, 2005).NFLs Economic Model Shows Signs of Strain.
NFL Team Valuations 2: Washington Redskins.
Redskins Owner Dan Snyder Appointed To NFL Stadium Committee.
. Archived fromthe originalon November 15, 2017
White, Joseph (December 20, 2014).Redskins need major changes to start winning again.
Wilbon, Michael (October 13, 2009).Snyder Must Lead Redskins By Getting Out of the Way.
Jenkins, Sally (October 9, Unstable Condition.
Daly, Dan (October 12, 2009).Problems with Redskins O-line start at top.
Albergotti, Reed (November 24, 2009).Are the Redskins Losing Washington.
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.
Chase, Chris (February 2, 2011).Dan Snyder trying to get a newspaper reporter fired.
Steinberg, Dan (October 27, 2009).Redskins ban signs at FedExField.
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 teams heavy-handed tactics questioned.
Redskins raise ticket prices. foxsports.com. June 2, 2014
McKenna, Dave (November 19, 2010).The Cranky Redskins Fans Guide to Dan Snyder.
Thats 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 RacistDeadspin
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.
McCarthy, Michael (December 19, 2006).ESPN buys stake in Arena Football.
Russell, Jack (March 1, 2016).Eight Redskins connections to the Arena Football League. washingtonpost.com
Atlanta Business Journal: Six Flags delisted. bizjournals.com. April 9, 2009
J. de la Merced, Michael (June 13, 2009)Six Flags Files for Bankruptcy.
Bloomberg: Six Flags Would Be Owned by Lenders Under Proposal (Update2) By Steven ChurchAugust 21, 2009
Worcester Telegram: Chairman off Six Flags boardMay 2, 2010
Adler, Neil (August 28, 2006).Dan Snyder accepts latest mission: Tom Cruise. The Washington Business Journal.
Sorkin, Andrew Ross (February 9, 2007).Footballs, Funhouses and Fries.
Luna, Nancy (June 18, 2013).O.C.-based burger chain Johnny Rockets sold.
Lieberman, David (June 19, 2007).Dan Snyder buys Dick Clarks TV, music company.
Investment firm picks up Dick Clark Productions.
Dan Snyder sends plane to Bahamas to assist with hurricane relief.
Andrews-Dyer, Helena.Redskins player Pierre Garçon heads to Haiti on team owner Dan Snyders private jet.
Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.
Harris, Hamil R. (March 1, 2001).Touched by Own Daughters Crisis, Snyder Assists Childrens Causes. The Washington Post
Walker, Andrew.Snyders Honored At Hope Awards.
. Archived fromthe originalon November 15, 2017
Craig, Tim (March 16, 2005).Park Service Could Profit From Allowing Snyder To Clear His Land. The Washington Post. p.A01.
Craig, Tim (May 19, 2006).Parks Official Is Blamed In Snyder Tree CuttingISSN0190-8286
Smith, Rick (March 14, 2012).Review of: Worth Fighting For: A Park Rangers Unexpected Battle against Federal Bureaucrats & Washington Redskins Owner Dan Snyder. Archived fromthe originalon April 18, 2012.
Murphy, Tim (December 26, 2013).Smokey and the Bandit.
Battista, Judy (September 25, 2009)Wife of Redskins Owner Finds Her Voice in Cancer Fight.
December 13, 2012, at theWayback MachineDecember 9, 2012
Greater Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Boston Braves / Boston Redskins / Washington Redskins principal owners
Estate of George Preston Marshall (19691970)
Franchise owners of the National Football League
Articles with dead external links from December 2017
Articles with permanently dead external links
Articles with unsourced statements from March 2013
Articles with unsourced statements from October 2009
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This page was last edited on 24 April 2019, at 22:38