A wise man once said, "The fastest way to become a millionaire is to become a billionaire and then buy a sports team."
That's not the case anymore. During the pandemic-impacted 2020 season, the average National Football team value increased 14%, to $3.48 billion, the largest gain in five years. With lucrative recent media deals, unwavering brand loyalty, and the possibility of being a local hero, owning a sports team is a smart investment.
Last year, The New England Patriots' value increased by 14%, making it the second most valued team in the NFL and making Robert Kraft enormously wealthy.
According to Forbes, his network exceeds $10.6 billion, making him the 59 richest people in the country and the second richest in Massachusetts.
Who is Robert Kraft?
Robert Kenneth Kraft is a business executive, the founder of The Kraft Group, a holding company for many companies), including the New England Patriots.
On June 5, 1941, Robert Kraft was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. Kraft grew up in a Modern Orthodox Jewish family. His mother was Sarah Bryna, and his father was Harry Kraft, a dress manufacturer in Boston's Chinatown.
His first job was selling newspapers at a baseball field.
When Robert Kraft was a young boy, he sold newspapers outside Braves Field, a baseball park in Boston. He earned his bachelor's degree from Columbia University in 1963 and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1965.
During his undergraduate degree, he played football for the Columbia football team and met his future wife, Myra Hiatt, in 1962. The couple married in 1963. Myra passed away in 2011 at 68, but he continues to live in Brookline, Massachusetts. Kraft has four sons — Jonathan, Robert, Joshua, and David.
His first job in college was with his father-in-law.
After college, his first job was at Rand-Whitney Group, a packaging company owned by his father-in-law. In 1968, he acquired the company through a leveraged buyout. After that, he kept expanding the company until it became one of the largest in the country.
In 1972, he founded International Forest Products to trade in wood and paper products. His packaging company made him a lot of money, so by 1994, he had enough money to buy The New England Patriots.
In 1998, he established the Kraft Group as a holding company for all his businesses.
The road to six championships.
However, his road to ownership was paved by business deals:
- He bought the land surrounding the Sullivan Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
- He purchased the stadium itself in the bankruptcy court.
- He bought the Patriots in 1994 for $172 million.
Since that date, the team has won six super bowls. Today, the team is worth about $5 billion.
He formed the New England Revolution, the soccer team.
In 1996 Kraft Group founded the New England Revolution, which plays in Major League Soccer. The Revolution plays in the same stadium as the Patriots, Gillette Stadium.
However, the New England Revolution is not as successful as the Patriots. They came close to winning a championship five times but never won it.
Robert Kraft is a big supporter of former President Donald Trump.
Kraft considers former President Donald Trump to be a very close friend.
Kraft told the Boston Globe, "After my wife passed in 2011, he was one of the few people who went out of their way and went above and beyond to assist me through the most difficult time in my life."
Trump also bragged about his friendship with one of the world's most successful football team owners. In 2017, Kraft donated $1 million to help pay for President Donald Trump's inauguration.
If you had his money, what causes would you support?
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