Dan Hannigan-Daley is an experienced and passionate product and business leader with a focus on sports data, consumption, and sports gaming. He greatly enjoys the product development lifecycle from strategy, road mapping, ideation/conceptualization, into planning and development, launching products, and further optimization. Dan believes in product/tech-led organizations and is a firm believer in technology-enabled advancements across all areas of society. Dan is an energetic individual who believes in progressive organizations providing flexibility to their teams in order to make the largest impact possible.
Dan, better known as DHD, joined Sports Info Solutions as CEO in 2021 after 5 and a half years at DraftKings, where he helped in the development of the fantasy platform, before taking the lead in driving DraftKings Sportsbook to become the first online Sportsbook outside of Nevada when it launched in August 2018. Dan served as Director of Sportsbook Product for DK, as the organization scaled to become a leader in the nascent US Sports Betting industry, launching in 11 States and processing over $9 billion in wagers as of his departure. His 10+ years of experience in the betting and fantasy industries make him a highly-respected leader in the industry and early returns at SIS have been promising, with several new products, strategic partnerships and revenue vehicles.
A native of Toronto, Canada, alongside his wife and son, Dan attended Brock University for Sport Management and subsequently the University of East London, for Sport Psychology. He has a passion for all things sports and enjoys keeping active, playing hockey, soccer, and running regularly.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET FEATURED?
All interviews are 100% FREE OF CHARGE
Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Dan Hannigan-Daley: My name is Dan Hannigan-Daley and I am CEO of a leading Sports Data and Analytics company; Sports Info Solutions. We are focused on collecting, analyzing, and distributing the deepest sporting data and insights across football, baseball and basketball with numerous professional sports teams as partners, within Major League Baseball, the NFL and the NBA. Increasingly, we’re now working with Pro Sports leagues to provide them with data and betting solutions, so that they can increase their fan engagement and general asset values through the growing sports betting industry. All of our operation is proprietary, inclusive of our technology which we use to collect and distribute our core data to partners.
About myself, I am a sports junkie, having worked in the sports industry for the entirety of my professional career, with stops in London, Vancouver, Boston and now home in Toronto. I was fortunate to be at the forefront of the emergent sports betting industry within each of those stops, culminating in 5+ years at DraftKings, as the US landscape shifted forever. I am excited about the prospect here at SIS of furthering our reach within that emergent area of the sports industry, while continuing to innovate within our team and league business.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Dan Hannigan-Daley: I think it remains ever important to keep focused on where you as a leader and where your organization can provide the most value, in the most efficient way possible. While I wasn’t a part of the organization for 2020 and the early part of 2021, it was clear that SIS had done this, while putting people first in maintaining all staff, despite the grinding halt and slashed budgets that the pro sports world saw. It’s important to be empathetic to what is going on in the world, and ensuring aligned interest to achieve the best results.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Dan Hannigan-Daley: Similarly to what I mentioned earlier, really leaning into a key 1 or 2 focus areas I think is going to be increasingly important. Keep your eye on the ball as they say and don’t lose confidence, energy, etc despite the various ebbs and flows and general obstacles that can be thrown in front of you. If you’re motivated and your team is aligned and motivated you should be able to weather any storm, even if it does get rocky for periods of time.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Dan Hannigan-Daley: It’s put a fair bit of strain on the industry at large, but we’re coming out stronger by and large. I’d say we were forced to adapt to a remote workforce (which has had its challenges, but also its advantages) and in general, has resulted in a need for increased flexibility from how our team operates, how we price our products, how we collaborate and align with partners, how we think about revenues, expenditures, etc. Flexibility has been key and I am fortunate to have a great team around me that shares the ability and mindset that we’re putting forward here at SIS.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Dan Hannigan-Daley: I think the biggest piece of advice would have been to stay patient and optimistic, regardless of challenges in front of you. In 2022, I’ll certainly heed that advice.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Dan Hannigan-Daley: I think we’ll see some level of ‘correction’ back to the physical world, at least with respect to meetings, work collaboration, etc but generally, the pandemic accelerated a lot of the adoption that was a matter of time to occur. With the flexibility and technology afforded to workers and people broadly, continued growth for online businesses seems incredibly likely for at least the ‘core’ functions that will become commonplace.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Dan Hannigan-Daley: Too many! Certainly less on a weekend where I ideally get outside and check out the fine city of Toronto with my family!
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Dan Hannigan-Daley: We try to be a fairly transparent organization and certainly for myself as a leader here, I keep that top of mind by providing access to myself via Zoom meetings, slack, etc for anyone in the organization. We don’t like to put up a lot of gates and maintain a relatively flat communication style. Things like company all hands have been a staple since I joined, along with other means of communicating wins, exciting the team, like lunch and learns, etc.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Dan Hannigan-Daley: There are always challenges that emerge, dissipate, re-emerge, etc. It’s all pretty cyclical based on the stage your company is in, along with market conditions. For SIS right now, we’re venturing into a couple new verticals, while focusing on being more efficient in our existing ones which are both challenges and opportunities. We have a lot to get done, which will see us stretched at times, but I am very confident in the team we have and our focus / ability to get things done.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Dan Hannigan-Daley: Certainly in the early portion of 2022 I was very intrigued by the emergent Crypto and NFT space and put in a lot of time and effort to educate myself, understand the value proposition, some of the consumer and business motivations behind the space, along with the technology. I will continue to beef up my understanding and viewpoints there as it does seem like a trend that while on the downturn, there is some fascinating, enabling technology underpinning a lot of the growth which I’d like to be mindful of as the specific industry of sports we play in, evolves.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Dan Hannigan-Daley: I can certainly see how it can be difficult to interpret the data the right way, be slightly ignorant to what s going on in front of you, etc. I think it’s hyper critical to create a culture and team (especially the leaders you have around you) that are transparent, empathetic and true leaders who care about their team, fight for their team and ensure voices are heard. We’ve tried to instill that kind of culture at SIS, but I know we have more hard work to do to get it to where we believe it needs to be.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Dan Hannigan-Daley: Probably unlimited capital so we can build all of the cool products and support all the leagues that we believe hold a lot of value for ourselves and our partners! Of course, we’ll make due and build lots of cool products and work with the right leagues, teams, etc and drive considerable value, but the flexibility to take a few more bets (without downside) would be an exciting proposition I think!
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Dan Hannigan-Daley: Continued growth myself and for my team as leaders and broadly for SIS to drive into the next phase of our business as we evolve our operations, technologies, products, and partners to drive outsized value for the broader sports industry we’re playing in. While the business has been around for 20 years, in many ways it feels like we’re a start-up just hitting the road, which is incredibly exciting!
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Dan Hannigan-Daley for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Dan Hannigan-Daley or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.