Washington Redskins Owner
A self-made man and an entrepreneur at heart, Dan Snyder’s life has been consumed by an enduring passion for the people, the team and the community he loves.
Growing up in the D.C. area and attending Redskins games with his father, Gerald, his youth and young adulthood were shaped and inspired by his devotion to the Washington Redskins. Now in his second decade as owner, Snyder has put his passion into action. He has consistently led the franchise to new prominence in the community, the business world and the National Football League. Under his leadership, the team has raised millions of dollars for charitable efforts and maintained its place in the top tier of the world’s most valuable sports franchises.
Snyder, 49, continues to be one of the Washington area’s most prominent community leaders and philanthropists. Shortly after purchasing the franchise in 1999, one of Snyder’s first actions as owner was to create the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation (WRCF) in 2000 to utilize the assets of the Redskins and their corporate and community partners to make a positive and measurable impact on youth development in the greater Washington, D.C., region. The foundation focuses on the areas of education, community outreach, and health and wellness, and since its inception, Charitable Foundation programs have made an impact on millions of lives and given back well over $15 million to individuals, groups and organizations in the community.
Both current and former Redskins players also donate their time, talents and resources to WRCF by providing toys, coats, and clothes to children, inspiring young football players and making wishes come true for little fans battling big diseases. In addition, since 2003, Snyder, Redskins players, and other volunteers have also gifted more than 864,100 pounds of packaged and fresh food and 385,500 pounds of turkey to area families in need at the team’s annual Harvest Feast. In 2013, the Redskins gifted more than 103,000 pounds of packaged and fresh food and 42,000 pounds of turkey at the annual event at FedExField.
In addition to his efforts with WRCF, Snyder has provided significant support to Washington’s Children’s Hospital and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). His support enabled construction of the Snyder Family Emergency Medicine and Trauma Center at Children’s Hospital. He is a member of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. He also funded construction of the Daniel M. Snyder and Family Communication Center at the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Each day the Center handles hundreds of calls from around the nation from law enforcement organizations, parents of missing children, runaways seeking help, and people responding to the Center’s well-known awareness campaigns on behalf of missing children. In May 2014, Snyder and his wife, Tanya, were honored with the Charles B. Wang International Children’s Award at the NCMEC annual Hope Awards Dinner.
During the 2014 offseason, Snyder and the Washington Redskins launched the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation. In an open letter, Snyder detailed that the organization’s intent was to provide genuine opportunities for Tribal communities, saying that, “With open arms and determined minds, we will work as partners to begin to tackle the troubling realities facing so many tribes across our country. Our efforts will address the urgent challenges plaguing Indian country based on what Tribal leaders tell us they need most. We may have created this new organization, but the direction of the Foundation is truly theirs.” Prior to the Foundation’s formal inception, the group distributed more than 3,000 cold-weather coats to tribes and assisted in the purchase of a new backhoe for the Omaha Tribe in Nebraska.
Beyond his charitable efforts, Snyder is prominent in the affairs of the NFL, where his expertise in the fields of marketing and media has been recognized with appointments to the Broadcast Committee, the Business Ventures Committee, the Digital Media Committee, the Hall of Fame Committee (which oversees the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio), and, separately, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Redskins, who continue to be ranked among the world’s most valuable sports franchises on Forbes magazine’s annual list, remain at the forefront of NFL marketing and business organizations. Since buying the team, Snyder has launched a highly successful retail arm, with several Official Redskins Stores in Virginia and Maryland, as well as mobile units for use at home games and other events.
In the summer of 2013, Snyder the Redskins moved their annual Training Camp to Richmond, Va., hosting the team’s training sessions at the brand new Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. During the team’s inaugural three-week stay in the capital, more than 165,000 attended walkthroughs and practices. In addition, the Redskins’ outreach in the community included more than 5,000 kids impacted by the Charitable Foundation’s Play 60 programs and cheerleading programs, as well as 200 high school coaches invited to a concussion clinic held by the Redskins.
In June 2012, Snyder and the Redskins reaffirmed the team’s commitment to the Commonwealth of Virginia, announcing that team will retain its corporate headquarters by improving Redskins Park, its Loudoun County training facility. In the 2013 offseason, Snyder and the Redskins began improvements to Redskins Park, including upgrades to the weight room, athletic training facility, locker room, hydrotherapy stations, media availability areas, in-house cafeteria and more.
During Snyder’s 15 seasons as owner of the team, 24 different Redskins have earned a total of 40 Pro Bowl appearances, nine different Redskins have been named All-Pro, and 12 Redskins draft picks have been selected to the All-Rookie Team. In addition, three players from his tenure as owner, Darrell Green, Bruce Smith and Deion Sanders, have gone on to induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
FedExField, the team’s wholly-owned stadium in Landover, Md., boasts seating capacity for 85,000 people. Tickets to Redskins games have been sold out for more than 40 years. Since he purchased the team, Snyder has invested more than $100 million in improvements to the facility, including high-speed escalators to the upper deck, updated signage, more than 1,000 flat-screen TVs in concourses and other areas, as well as the League standard-setting Owner’s Club East and Owner’s Club West private luxury suites. In 2010, the Redskins installed two new video boards – 30 feet high and 100 feet wide – in each of the end zones at FedExField. The screens feature state-of-the-art high definition LED displays and tripled the size of the previous end zone video displays. The team also enhanced the fans’ gameday experience with all-new game clocks, play clocks, other in-stadium video displays and Party Deck Platforms.
The club’s media ventures include Redskins Nation, produced by the Redskins Broadcast Network, which is the league’s only year-round, daily 30-minute television show. The team also produces television and radio broadcasts via Redskins.com, a robust editorial and social media staff, and Extremeskins.com, the team’s fan forum. The team also produces a variety of other television programs, broadcast independently as well as in partnership with local television outlets.
Snyder was Founder, Chairman and CEO of Snyder Communications, Inc. and was the youngest CEO of a New York Stock Exchange company at the time. From its launch in 1985, the company grew to a global organization of 12,000 employees, with 77 offices in 17 countries, and more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The company’s client base included 200 of the Fortune 500, to which it provided targeted marketing solutions, including advertising and marketing services. In March 2000, the company was acquired by the French marketing firm Havas for more than $2.3 billion, at the time the largest such merger in the history of the advertising/marketing industry.
Snyder is founder and Chairman Emeritus of inVentiv Health (NASDAQ: VTIV). Additionally, Snyder is founder and Managing Member of the Board of Red Zebra Broadcasting, LLC, which operates radio stations in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia airing Redskins broadcasts, popular national radio shows and locally generated programming. Snyder is active in a variety of other private business ventures, both as an investor and as an advisor to management. He is a frequent invitee to share his experiences and views with business organizations nationwide, and he is enshrined in the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
In 2010, Snyder was honored by Beacon House, a nonsectarian, neighborhood-based organization that supports at-risk youth and families of the Edgewood Terrace community in Washington, D.C., during a community celebration to dedicate the football field at Edgewood Department of Parks and Recreation Center. The Charitable Foundation assisted in renovating the center with a newly resurfaced field, bleachers, and an electronic scoreboard. In April 2014, Snyder and WRCF announced a partnership to fund a brand new, synthetic, multi-sport field at Park View High School in Sterling, Va., one of 37 fields the foundation has helped provide since its inception.
In April 2012, Snyder was presented Youth For Tomorrow’s Distinguished Leader Award in recognition of his years of support for the organization’s private, residential school and counseling center in Bristow, Va., which has provided year-round care for more than 900 homeless and at-risk children ages 11-17 from Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. The honor is periodically awarded to individuals who have demonstrated long and generous support to Youth For Tomorrow. In announcing the award at YFT’s annual Burgundy and Gold Banquet, Hall of Fame Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs, who is also Founder and Chairman of Youth For Tomorrow, said, “Dan Snyder began his support of the kids at Youth For Tomorrow long before I ever considered returning to coach the team in 2004.”
Snyder and his wife, Tanya, have three children and live in Potomac, Md.