Daniel Snyder is an American entrepreneur who owns the majority shares of the American football team 'Washington Redskins.' He made his first successful business venture, 'Snyder Communications,' when he was in his 20s. Since then, Daniel has invested in several ventures and venue-based businesses such as ‘Red Zone Capital Management Co.,' 'Circle.com Inc., L.L.C,' 'FedExField Stadium,' and 'Red Zebra Broadcasting.' He has been the chairman and majority owner of the 'Pro-Football, Inc.' which is the franchise of the 'Washington Redskins' of the 'National Football League.' Unfortunately, the 'Redskins' has got him in several controversies and criticisms. Most prominently, Daniel was pressurized to change the team’s name as it sounded derogatory to a particular community. His heavy-handed managerial skills have been the subject of several articles. Daniel is also involved in various philanthropy causes and has founded a few charitable organizations.
Childhood & Early Life
Daniel was born Daniel Marc Snyder on November 23, 1964, in Maryland to the Jewish couple Arlette and Gerald Seymour "Gerry" Snyder. He has a sister named Michele. He attended 'Hillandale Elementary School' in Silver Spring, Maryland.
At age 12, Daniel moved to a small-town Henley-on-Thames and went to a private school for two years after he came back to the US to live with his grandmother in Queens, New York. Daniel then moved back to Maryland, where he attended 'Charles W. Woodward High School.'
Daniel was 17 when he partnered with his father in an unsuccessful travel-based venture. He then dropped out of the 'University of Maryland, College Park’ to run his business of leasing jets to college students to fly to sporting events. The turnover was in millions.
Daniel tried his luck in publishing the college journal 'Campus USA' but had to close it later as the venture did not create sufficient paid advertisings.
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In 1989, Daniel and his sister started a wallboard advertising company named 'Snyder Communications LP.' By 1992, the company had seen several expansions, and there was a hike in the annual revenues.
In September 1996, Daniel was named the youngest ever CEO of a 'New York Stock Exchange'-listed company. The company grew further through a string of acquisitions but was ultimately sold to the French advertising and marketing services group 'Havas' in April 2000 for US$2 billion, making it the most expensive acquisition in the history of the advertising industry.
In May 1999, Daniel purchased the football team 'Redskins' and their two-year-old 'Jack Kent Cooke Stadium' (now 'FedExField') for $800 million. It was the largest transaction of the time in the history of sports-team acquisitions. However, Daniel’s new team got him into several controversies.
Daniel’s way of managing the team was heavily criticized through several articles in Washington area newspapers. People blamed him for the team’s poor performance on the field and fans’ discontentment due to the hiked ticket and parking prices. Statistics revealed that the 'Redskins' which was the 6th most popular NFL team in 2003, had fallen to the 17th position by 2009. However, it entered the top ten again in 2014 and was the third highest-grossing team in the NFL.
Daniel had planned to create an 'Arena Football League' team for the Washington, D.C. much before the league ended in 2009. However, the team that was supposed to be named the 'Washington Warriors' never played for the league. The team only participated in the 'Comcast Center' in 2003.
Daniel has served as the director at 'McLeodUSA Inc.' since September 2002 and the Chairman Emeritus of 'inVentiv Health Inc.' since June 14, 2006, after its separation from 'Snyder Communications.' (1)He has been the Chairperson of the board at 'Radio, Television & Communication Federal Credit Union.'
In 2005, on behalf of his private equity company 'RedZone Capital,' Daniel owned 12% stocks of the amusement park operator 'Six Flags' and later became the chairman. In April 2009, 'Six Flags' was removed from the 'New York Stock Exchange' list as it did not have the minimum required market capitalization.
'Six Flags' owed him a huge debt. Hence, Daniel and his partner were removed from their positions, and he ultimately lost the entire venture. Around the same time, his 'Red Zebra Broadcasting' launched three sports radio stations collectively known as 'Triple X ESPN Radio' (often called as 'Dan Jazeera' due to Daniel’s managerial style).
Next, Daniel became the prime financier of Tom Cruise’s production company. He was the executive producer of the 2008 movie 'Valkyrie.'
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On June 19, 2007, Daniel purchased the 'Dick Clark Productions' studio for $175 million which was later acquired by a group of firms including ‘Guggenheim Partners' in 2012.
In 2005, Daniel was inducted into the 'Greater Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.'
In February 2011, Daniel sued the 'Washington City Paper's' sportswriter Dave McKenna for writing an article lists all of his controversies accompanied with one Daniel’s picture. In the picture, Daniel was shown with Devil's Horns and a devilish beard which he felt was anti-Semitic. The case was dismissed later in September 2011.
Another prominent controversy that Daniel was involved in was the name of his team. Many 'Redskins' fans, politicians, and advocacy groups felt that the name derogatory for Native Americans. Despite all the pressure to change the name, in May 2013, Daniel firmly told 'USA Today' that he would never change the name.
Daniel donated $1 million for the 9/11 victims and has participated in several disaster relief efforts such as Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 tsunami, and Hurricane Matthew. In 2000, he laid the foundations of the 'Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation,' in the Washington, D.C. area.
Daniel is an ardent supporter of 'Youth For Tomorrow,' which was founded by former 'Redskins' head coach Joe Gibbs. In April 2010, 'Youth For Tomorrow' honored Daniel with its 'Distinguished Leader Award.'
In 2014, Daniel launched the 'Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation' to aid the progress of Tribal communities. He advocates several other organizations including 'Washington's Children's Hospital' and the 'National Center for Missing and Exploited Children' (NCMEC) that presented him and his wife the 'Charles B. Wang International Children's Award' in May 2014.
Daniel made a deal with the 'National Park Service' to cut down old-growth trees around the Potomac River on the condition to replace the trees. Hence, the 'Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission' fined him $100 per day in December 2004. Daniel is yet to replace the trees.
Family & Personal Life
Daniel’s father worked for 'United Press International' and 'National Geographic' as a freelance writer.
Daniel has been married to former fashion model Tanya Ivey, since 1994. They have two daughters and a son.
Snyder owns a 'Bombardier BD-700 Global Express XRS' jet which is parked at Dulles International Airport. The tail of the jet has a 'Redskin' helmet.
On February 1, 2019, Daniel’s second yacht with an IMAX theater was featured on the ‘Los Angeles Times.'