Robert Kraft Creates Lasting Change for the New England Revolution and Beyond
Robert Kraft is happy to be the Investor/Operator of the New England Revolution; a Major League Soccer team. He’s also the proud owner of the winningest professional football team in history, the New England Patriots. Ever since Kraft invested in the two franchises, the teams have earned a combined 13 conference titles and five league championships.
Aside from his involvement with the Patriots and Revolution, he is the founder, and CEO of the Kraft Group, a holding company based in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The organization manages the Kraft family’s variety of business interests in the areas of sports and entertainment, real estate, private equity investing, and paper and packaging.
Another one of Robert’s amazing accomplishments was when he purchased an undeveloped parcel of land in 1985, which is now the home of Gillette Stadium. This venue is the home field for both the Patriots and Revolution, and it’s also a popular entertainment, concert, and event destination.
Since Robert Kraft took over the New England Revolution, winning has been their culture. Under his ownership, the team has titles in the U.S. Open Cup and SuperLiga. Additionally, the franchise has five appearances in the MLS Cup. The MLS Cup has been hosted in Foxborough three times, including the 2002 Final that brought in a crowd of over 60,000 people. The match, which involved the Revolution and LA Galaxy, had the most ticket sales of any game in MLS postseason history.
Kraft’s love for soccer started back in the early 1990s. This was when he made Foxboro Stadium one of nine host venues for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. As this brought fans and excitement to New England, it carved a new path for professional sports in the region. Just one year later, in June 1995, the Kraft family became the founding Investor/Operator of the Revolution. The new franchise joined Major League Soccer (MLS) as one of 10 charter clubs for its inaugural season in 1996.
The Kraft family has also been a long-time supporter of the United States Men’s and Women’s National Teams. In fact, 33 international matches involving U.S. national teams have been hosted in New England, both at Foxboro Stadium and Gillette Stadium. The 1999 Women’s World Cup and the 2003 Women’s World Cup were held in Foxborough. Some of these matches had more than 50,000 fans.
Aside from the family’s involvement in the sports and entertainment industry, they’re also one of New England’s most philanthropic groups. In fact, the family has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to support local charities, civic affairs, and health care. The Kraft family once gave $20 million to Harvard Business School to create an endowment for the advancement of precision medicine. They also pledged $25 million to Partners HealthCare to build the Kraft Center for Community Health; an initiative made for improving access to quality health care at community centers in the state of Massachusetts.
Kraft started his business career more than 50 years ago. He began working for the Rand-Whitney Group, Inc. of Worcester, Massachusetts, a business that transforms paper into packaging for a variety of organizations. Kraft would eventually take ownership of the company. Robert is also the founder of International Forest Products, a trader of paper commodities that now operates in nearly 100 countries. Today, Rand-Whitney and International Forest Products are considered one of the largest privately-owned paper and packaging companies in the country.
Kraft is a beloved native of Brookline, Massachusetts. After attending public schools when he was younger, he went to Columbia University on an academic scholarship. He would later receive a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.
With a long career full of winning teams, impactful philanthropic efforts, and lasting work for the New England region, Robert Kraft is considered one of the most influential people in the United States.