When Dan Hannigan-Daley joined Draft Kings in 2015, the company had fewer than 200 employees and had yet to launch a U.S. sportsbook. When he left in 2021, over 3,000 people had joined the firm, overseeing sportsbooks in multiple states. Hannigan-Daley, internally known as “DHD,” was at the forefront of this expansion and the first person to work on sports betting at DraftKings full time, guiding sportsbook strategy, product, technology and marketing.
Asked about his proudest career accomplishment to date, he says, “Without a doubt, it would be the accomplishments during my time at DraftKings, particularly our launching of the DraftKings Sportsbook on August 1, 2018, being first to market in the newly opened New Jersey market and really signaling that DraftKings was going to be a market leader in this new space. It was a massive team effort and one I was grateful to have had a leadership role in.”
Raised in the Toronto area, Hannigan-Daley has always been a sports fanatic, both as a fan and as an athlete. He attained degrees in sports management from Brock University, where he played varsity soccer and Junior B Hockey, and in sports psychology from the University of East London, landing a job with BD Stadia, where he took bets and eventually ran stadium betting operations for several London-based clubs in the English Premier League.
Asked what traits offset his initial lack of experience, he says, “I think a really important factor, skill set or trait is simply the ability to work hard, go that extra mile, and more succinctly, caring and wanting to succeed. Without the care factor and desire to drive sports forward for myself, there is no chance I’d be where I am now.”
Now Hannigan-Daley is the CEO of Sports Info Solutions (SIS), which collects, analyzes and distributes rich sporting data to help professional sports teams across the NFL, MLB and NBA make better decisions on and off the field of play. Since Hannigan-Daley’s entrance, SIS has expanded the scope of its data to include the sports betting ecosystem. Using this data, sports betting syndicates gain edges, odds providers sharpen their models, and sportsbooks acquire custom feeds to power their products. They’ve partnered with organizations like the Canadian Elite Basketball League, Northwoods Baseball League and others to help them enable wagering on their events, driving fan engagement and increased commercial opportunities.
Hannigan-Daley’s journey from bet-taker to CEO was aided by several important mentors.
“My parents are, of course, huge mentors of mine,” he says. “They were both entrepreneurs who worked together, and showed me the value of working hard, being flexible and having fun. I carry those traits and that belief with me every day. Career-wise, folks like John Lee from BD Sport, James and Greg from BCLC, or Geoff Scott at DraftKings were fantastic mentors I now consider to be great friends.”
As an emerging leader in the industry, Hannigan-Daley describes his approach to helping other young professionals achieve his level of success, saying, “I try to mirror a lot of what great leaders I’ve seen are able to do. Provide autonomy, but guidance. Give challenges, but also support. Be a good listener and understand that people’s goals and motivations are different.”
Hannigan-Daley is looking forward to the next 12 to 18 months of his career.
“For sure, the next evolution of Sports Info Solutions,” he says. “I’ve now been with the organization for 18 months and we’ve seen mass amounts of changes, and I believe are now really on the cusp for some major moves to occur, which excites me. We’ve got an incredible team and set of partners, and a general ambition that is really starting to take shape and will be wonderful to experience in the coming months as the foundational work pays off.”