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Volume 22 No. 19
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Forty Under 40: Daniel Sillman

Photo: steve freeman

Daniel Sillman is accustomed to moving quickly.

 

He founded a multifamily office wealth management service for athletes while still a student at the University of Michigan, a business he sold in 2016 before joining Stephen Ross’ RSE Ventures.

Chief Executive Officer, Relevent Sports Group

Age: 30

Born: Detroit

Education: University of Michigan Ross School of Business, BBA

What gets you fired up? I get fired up when we are able to do something that seemed impossible.

Profession you’d most like to attempt: Real estate.

Something your friends would consider “so you”: Having friends that are twice my age.

Could not go a day without: My phone.

Causes supported: RISE, University of Michigan.

Person in the industry you’d most like to meet: Phil Knight.  

Sports industry needs to do a better job of … : Challenging the status quo. Things shouldn’t be done the old way just because that’s the way it’s always been done. The sports industry needs more innovation. 

Ideal day off: Skiing in Aspen.

Most thrilling/adventurous thing you’ve done: Heli-skiing in Kingfisher, British Columbia.

We’d be surprised to know that … : I started a business in college and sold it by the time I was 25.


His career path further skyrocketed in 2017 when he was named CEO of Relevent Sports Group, the Ross-owned company behind the global soccer tournament the International Champions Cup.

In 2018, RSG expanded the ICC, adding new tournaments for professional women’s and youth soccer alongside its men’s event, and developed an outdoor fan event, all aiming to increase soccer’s popularity in the U.S. RSG also signed a 15-year joint venture with La Liga to serve as the Spanish league’s commercial arm in the U.S. and Canada, managing its media and sponsorship rights and assisting it in its goal to host a regular-season game in the U.S.

With all of these accomplishments under his belt, Sillman had time to do something he hadn’t done before — slow down.

“These last six months or so, I took a step back and we evaluated our team and our organization,” he said. “We took some time to look at what we’ve done well, focus on what we’re good at, and as the saying goes, ‘Make the main thing the main thing.’”

That will mean further strengthening RSG’s position in soccer and its properties, as well as creating more content that tells the stories of the players and the clubs involved in them.

“We’re going all in on soccer, and I think that’s going to be one of the smartest decisions we’ve ever made,” he said. “There are so many tailwinds for the sport, and we have an opportunity to do something really special.”