How Robert Kraft Went from Working at Stadiums to Owning His Own Team

Worth more than $8 billion and internationally renowned for his team-building prowess, it would be hard to hold a mirror to Robert Kraft’s accomplishments in any meaningful way. While ostensibly known for his work as the owner of the New England Patriots, as well as the guiding hand behind their dynastic run, Robert Kraft has a portfolio of business investments almost as impressive as his Lombardi Trophy collection.

Today, we are going to explore Kraft’s investments as well as the path he took to become one of the most successful professionals in his field.

Selling Newspapers and Buying Stadiums

While worth more than $8 billion at the time of this writing, Kraft was more likely to sell a newspaper as a child rather than appear in one. As a child, Kraft sold newspapers outside of Braves Field in Boston. An early love of athletics surely inspired Kraft, but it wasn’t until he graduated from Harvard Business School that his career would take off.

Upon graduating from HBS In 1965, Kraft was brought on to the Rand-Whitney Group alongside his father-in-law. Together, the two led the paper and packaging company through its leveraged buyout, eventually leaving Kraft with a controlling stake in the company by 1968. Kraft took this momentum and ran with it, establishing International Forest Products just four years later. The legendary Massachusetts native controls holdings including the Boston Uprising, Rand-Whitney Containerboard, the New England Revolution, and Gillette Stadium.

Path to Patriots Ownership

Transitioning from his investment career into NFL history books was not a simple nor short one for Robert. Instead, Kraft would purchase an option on land surrounding Foxboro Stadium in 1985. Less than five years later, Kraft would purchase the stadium out of bankruptcy court. A few years later, Robert Kraft and his investment group would commit more than $172 million to purchase the New England Patriots.

Shortly after acquiring the Patriots fully, Kraft would oversee his team’s first deep run into the postseason in 1994. Just two years later, the New England Patriots would secure their second Super Bowl berth in NFL history. Guided by Kraft’s leadership as well as the eternal talents of Tom Brady and Coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots were able to turn into one of the most dominant sports teams in athletic history.

Following the acquisition of the New England Patriots, Kraft and the rest of his family would invest in the New England Revolution, a club in Major League Soccer. The Revolution have not been as successful as the Patriots, but they do share the same field, bringing fresh eyes to both teams.

To continue innovating within the investment field, he founded the Boston Uprising e-sports team for the uber-competitive Overwatch League. Kraft said that he was eager to use the e-sports team as a vessel to bring “Boston and our franchise” to fans around the world.

In addition to his investing work, Robert Kraft has been committed to philanthropy by supporting several charities, nonprofits, and educational causes around the world. In particular, Kraft has dedicated time and finances to youth sports as well as Israeli and American programs. For more information about Kraft, read more about him here.