Snyder on the ball

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Dan Snyder knows a bit about marketing and sports. Before acquiring the Washington Redskins in 1999 for $800 million, he built his Snyder Communications from a direct marketing company into a marketing giant, at one point acquiring Boston ad agency Arnold Communications. Now, the 37-year-old multimillionaire is turning his attention to baseball, trying to bring a Major League Baseball team back to D.C.

"A sports franchise is an integral part of its community," Mr. Snyder says when asked how team owners should view their franchises. He adds, "Marketing strategy is critical, including access for fans and ways to communicate with fans through off-field channels like print, TV and radio. ... We continually walk a fine line between aggressive marketing and maintaining a true relationship with fans."

The focus must remain on the fan. "Marketing deals help the fans and support the team's ability to acquire better players and field better teams," Mr. Snyder says.

But the role of sports as entertainment can't be denied. "Entertainment value in the NFL is the highest of all sports," the former adman says. "There are so few games that each and every one is special."

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