Daniel Snyder: Entrepreneur, NFL Owner, and Philanthropist

Daniel Snyder is an entrepreneur and philanthropist, best known for his ownership of the Washington Football team (formerly known as the Redskins).

As a teenager, Dan Snyder attended Washington Football games with his father and got his first taste of entrepreneurship in sports by partnering together to sell trip packages to Washington Nationals ice hockey fans. He founded a successful advertising firm with his sister, Michele Snyder, called Snyder Communications LP. The company began with wallboard advertising then grew into telemarketing and sample-driven campaigns, which led to Daniel Snyder becoming the youngest CEO to ever have a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange by 1996.

Snyder tried a plethora of other business ventures ranging from aviation to publishing, but his passion for sports and longtime following of Washington Football led to his purchase of the team in 1999 along with FedExField (which was Jack Cooke Kent Stadium at the time). He has committed to improving the fan experience at FedExField, the 82,000-seat stadium in Landover, Maryland, with over $100 million pumped into new gates, over 1,000 TV screens, signage and video boards, and private luxury box suites and club facilities. Improvements were also made to the parking layout to reduce congestion and stadium-wide WiFi was overhauled for all attendees, but with special features available through the Washington Football team mobile app season ticket holders (such as complimentary access to the Red Zone Channel).

Daniel Snyder’s leadership in the National Football League frequently calls upon his expertise from his Snyder Communications days, as he was appointed to the League’s media, business ventures, international, and stadium committees in addition to serving as the digital media committee’s co-hcair. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and serves on the Hall of Fame committee that oversees the actual hall in Canton, Ohio. Daniel Snyder himself was also inducted into the Greater Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.

Upon his acquisition of Washington Football, Daniel Snyder spearheaded a highly successful retail initiative for the high-ranking football team that is still considered to be one of the world’s most valuable sports franchises. The retail initiative resulted in opening official team stores in Maryland and Virginia plus mobile retail kiosks. Snyder and Washington Football kept their promise to keep the team’s corporate headquarters in Virginia after relocating their annual training camp to Richmond in 2013 and host training sessions at Bon Secours. Dan Snyder has overseen significant improvements to the Loudon County facility and Inova Sports Performance Center, completely overhauling the athletic training components and installing hydrotherapy stations, media rooms, and on-site cafeteria.

During Snyder’s 20-season tenure as the owner of Washington Football, 27 different players earned 53 Pro Bowl appearances. Nine were named All-Pro and five players were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Jason Taylor, Deion Sanders, Champ Bailey, Bruce Smith, and Darrell Green. 

With the success of his prior ventures and accomplishing his dream of going into sports management, Daniel Snyder set about creating significant philanthropic programs in the Washington DC area within and independently of his activity in the National Football League. In 2000, Snyder formed the Washington Charitable Foundation to improve children’s literacy and community health programs throughout the greater Washington DC area. The foundation works with the Washington Football team and its corporate and community stakeholders to provide workshops, events, and other resources that have impacted tens of thousands of students’ lives in local school districts. More than 115 workshops were hosted and over $29 million was disbursed to individuals, schools, and community groups in 2019.

The Washington Charitable Foundation has strove to improve children’s school attendance in the past 19 years. Most recently, the foundation has stepped up its investment in the Loads of Love program that installs washers and dryers in schools, nonprofits, and community organizations to help children and families who lack access to laundry facilities due to homelessness or unstable housing. As of 2019, over 80 schools and nonprofits in the Washington DC area have had laundry facilities installed as a result of this initiative.

In addition to local philanthropic efforts, Daniel Snyder and the Washington Football team have also stepped up on national and international levels. Snyder organized disaster relief efforts in Indonesia and Thailand in 2004 when tsunamis devastated Southeast Asia, and Hurricane Katrina followed shortly after on southern US shores in 2005.

He sent two Washington Football players to specially deliver medical supplies to hospitals in Port Au Prince when Hurricane Matthew caused massive destruction throughout the Caribbean. He also gave additional disaster aid to the Bahamas through Washington Football partners and independently, receiving recognition from the Bahamian Minister of Tourism. “This organization led by example mobilizing immediately to bring relief to our people who are in need. It is our hope that other organizations will follow the example set by the [Washington Football team].”

Along with his wife, Tanya Snyder, he has also made major contributions to the Children’s National Hospital and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Snyder’s significant donations to these organizations funded the construction of an emergency medical center and family communication center respectively, which bear his name. Daniel and Tanya Snyder received the Charles B. Wang International Children’s Award in 2014 from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Hope Awards event.

Daniel Snyder’s more recent philanthropic efforts include a commitment to support Black Lives Matter with a $250,000 donation after nationwide protests that resulted from the murder of George Floyd. In response to the social and infrastructure upheaval from COVID-19, Snyder made significant donations to the Capital Area Food Bank to help food-insecure families who lost their incomes due to the pandemic. He also collaborated with the Maryland National Guard to set up COVID-19 testing sites in Prince George County.

Daniel Snyder lives with his wife Tanya, a former model turned breast cancer awareness spokeswoman, in Potomac, Maryland and the couple have three children.