American Football Database
File:Daniel Snyder.jpg

Daniel Snyder (Jim Wallace, 2001)

Daniel M. Snyder (born November 23, 1965 in Silver Spring, Maryland) is the current owner of the Washington Redskins American football team, owner of the Dick Clark Productions television production company, and primary investor in Red Zebra Broadcasting, which is home to the Redskins Radio Network. Snyder has a net worth of $1.1 billion.[1] The Redskins have experienced just three winning seasons during the tenure of his presidency, while undergoing numerous coaching and quarterback changes that have been controversial.

Early life

Snyder was raised in a Jewish family in Maryland. His father, Gerry Snyder, was a free-lance writer who wrote for United Press International and National Geographic. His first job was at B. Dalton bookstore at the age of 14.[2][3][4][5]

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. He was disappointed when he found his fliers littering the streets after a tough loss.

By age 20, he had dropped out of the University of Maryland, College Park[6] 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.[7]

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 nearly $3 million behind Campus USA. That venture could not generate enough paid advertising and was forced to close after three years.

Despite the collapse of CampusUSA, Snyder began to pursue WallBoards, an advertising venture designed to reach "targeted populations" with the backing of Drasner and Zuckerman.


In 1988, Snyder and his sister Michelle founded a marketing company, Snyder Communications LP, a limited partnership of US News & World Reports. Their activities were mainly outsourced marketing services, such as direct marketing, database marketing, proprietary product sampling, sponsored information display in prime locations, call centers, and field sales. Snyder's WallBoards were initially the sole source of revenue for this venture with displays being posted in hospital maternity areas, private daycare centres, and Fixed Based Operations (FBO), or private aircraft lounges in major airports throughout the country. 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 listed company at the age of 32.[8]

He expanded the company aggressively through a string of acquisitions, and 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 US$300 million.[9]

Snyder owns a corporate jet, a Bombardier BD-700 Global Express XRS[10] with tail number N904DS and it is hangared at Dulles International Airport. The tail sports a Redskin helmet. The Redskins have offices and a practice field in nearby Ashburn, Virginia.

Washington Redskins football team ownership

In May 1999, Snyder purchased the Redskins and Jack Kent Cooke Stadium (now FedExField) for $800 million following the death of previous owner Jack Kent Cooke.[citation needed] At the time, it was the most expensive transaction in sporting history.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

Snyder owned expansion rights to an Arena Football League team for the Washington, D.C. market before the 2009 demise of the original league.[11]

Facility expansion

While Snyder has been 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.[12] As of 2007, the Redskins are the highest grossing team in the National Football League ahead of the Dallas Cowboys, who are, incidentally, the team's biggest on-field rivals.[13] 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.[14]

Snyder paid attention to revenue generation by adding more suites and club seats, enlarging capacity to a, at the time, league high 91,000[citation needed], and he sold the club seats that had gone empty under the Cooke family reign.[citation needed] Traffic and parking around the stadium have been improved but need work.

Public backlash against Snyder

Since Snyder bought the Redskins, the team has had a losing record (91-117 through the end of the 2011 season). They have also gone through seven head coaches in 13 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.[15][16][17] A 24 November 2009 article in the Wall Street Journal also questioned whether Snyder's leadership style had alienated the Redskins fan-base, questioning "Are the Redskins Losing Washington?"[18] 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.

After a 3-7 start to the 2009 Washington Redskins season, criticism of Snyder and his general manager, Vinny Cerrato, escalated, while sportswriters referred to the pair as "Dumb and Dumber".[19][20] 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.[18] Vinny Cerrato resigned on 17 December 2009.

Under Snyder, the Redskins have also 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 waiting list.[21]

Part way through the 2009 season, Snyder banned all signs from FedEx Field, leading to further fan discontentment.[20][22]

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.[23]

Libel suit

Threatening a lawsuit in January 2011, Snyder demanded dismissal of the Washington City Paper's sports writer Dave McKenna, who had meticulously compiled a lengthy article, The Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder,[19] documenting the encyclopedia of errors made by Snyder. Other sportswriters have come out in support of McKenna.[24] The lawsuit was filed on February 2, 2011.[20][25][26] On April 26, 2011, Snyder's lawyers added the reporter who wrote the story, Dave McKenna, as a defendant.[27] On September 10th, 2011, Snyder dropped his libel lawsuit against both the Washington City Paper and Dave McKenna.[28]

Other ventures

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,[20] although the 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.[29]

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'.[20] He purchased other radio stations in the mid-Atlantic region, and intends to broadcast coverage of Washington Redskins games on all of his stations.[citation needed]

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.[30] Snyder is credited as an executive producer for the 2008 movie Valkyrie, which stars Cruise.

In February 2007, it was announced that Snyder's Red Zone Capital Management would purchase Johnny Rockets, the 1950s-themed diner chain.[31]

On 19 June 2007, Snyder purchased Dick Clark Productions for $175 million.[32]

In October 2007, Snyder confirmed in London that he is "actively looking for the right opportunity" to enter into business in the Premier League, most likely through the outright purchase of a soccer club. Tottenham Hotspur F.C. of North London is reported to be the most likely team to be bought by Snyder, which is currently on the market for about $725 million (£450 million).[33] Snyder is the chairman of the board of Ventiv Health[citation needed], and a board member of McLeodUSA[citation needed].


  1. Forbes.
  2. Jewish Virtual Library: "Daniel Snyder" retrieved July 28, 2012
  3. Washington Jewish Week: "The devil made him do it? Snyder sees anti-Semitism, but few others agree" by Debra Rubin February 4, 2011
  4. Washington Jewish Week: "Five local Jews make Forbes richest list" October 7, 2009
  5. The Washintonian: "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
  6. Dan Patrick:Outtakes with Daniel Snyder
  7. Nariyawala, Mehul (2004-10-28). "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.
  8. Muoio, Anna (1997-06). "The Secrets of Their Success - and Yours". Fast Company.
  9. Einstein, David (2000-09-08). "The Greening Of The Redskins". Forbes.
  10. Photo Search Results |
  11. McCarthy, Michael (2006-12-19). "ESPN buys stake in Arena Football". USA Today.
  12. Maske, Mark (8 January 2005). "NFL's Economic Model Shows Signs of Strain". Washington Post.
  13. Ozanian, Michael K. (2007-09-13). "How 'Bout Them Cowboys?". Forbes.
  14. "NFL Team Valuations - #2: Washington Redskins". Forbes. 2007-09-13.
  15. Wilbon, Michael (2009-10-13). "Snyder Must Lead Redskins By Getting Out of the Way". The Washington Post.
  16. Jenkins, Sally (2009-10-09). "In Unstable Condition". The Washington Post.
  17. Daly, Dan (2009-10-12). "Problems with Redskins' O-line start at top". The Washington Times.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Albergotti, Reed (2009-11-24). "Are the Redskins Losing Washington". The Wall Street Journal.
  19. 19.0 19.1 McKenna, Dave (2010-11-19). "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."
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 Chase, Chris (2011-02-02). "Dan Snyder trying to get a newspaper reporter fired". Shutdown Corner. Washington: Yahoo Sports News.
  21. Grimaldi, James V. (2009-09-03). "Washington Redskins React to Fans' Tough Luck With Tough Love". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  22. Steinberg, Dan (2009-10-27). "Redskins ban signs at FedEx Field". The Washington Post.
  23. Leahy, Sean (2009-10-29). "Redskins fans aim vitriol at Daniel Snyder as team's heavy-handed tactics questioned". USA Today.
  24. Petchesky, Barry (2011-02-03) Dan Snyder Cries Anti-Semitism In Letter That Manages To Be Racist, Deadspin
  25. Farhi, Paul (2011-02-01). "Redskins owner Dan Snyder seeks dismissal of City Paper writer". The Washington Post (Washington).
  26. Farhi, Paul (2011-02-02). "Redskins owner Dan Snyder's face-off with City Paper gets uglier". The Washington Post (Washington).
  27. "Dan Snyder moves defamation lawsuit to D.C". 2011-04-27.
  28. Madden, Mike. "Dan Snyder Drops Lawsuit Against Washington City Paper, Dave McKenna."
  29. Craig, Tim (2005-03-16). "Park Service Could Profit From Allowing Snyder To Clear His Land". The Washington Post. p. A01.
  30. [|Adler, Neil] (2006-08-28). "Dan Snyder accepts latest mission: Tom Cruise". The Washington Business Journal.
  31. Sorkin, Andrew Ross (2007-02-09). "Footballs, Funhouses and Fries". The New York Times.
  32. Lieberman, David (June 19, 2007). "Dan Snyder buys Dick Clark's TV, music company". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  33. Sale, Charles (2007-10-27). "Is Redskins chief on trail of Spurs?". London: The Daily Mail.

External links

Preceded by
Estate of Jack Kent Cooke
Washington Redskins principal owner
Succeeded by
current owner

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Daniel Snyder.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with American Football Database, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.