A native of Massachusetts, Robert Kraft was born and raised in the city of Brookline. After attending public school in his youth, Kraft would land an academic scholarship to study at Columbia University. A few short years later, Kraft would earn his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
From the beginning, Robert Kraft was destined to do much more than his circumstances might have suggested. Once an earnest sales boy outside of a stadium in Boston, Kraft now exists as a hero to the state and a legend in the NFL’s storied legacy. How did Kraft turn into a business magnate? What were the steps along the way?
Before the Super Bowl Rings
Long before his name was tied to the winning tradition of the New England Patriots, Kraft was just another lifelong football fan living in Massachusetts while loyally tuning in to every Patriots game. A season ticket bolder since before he owned the team, Kraft knew that he would one day help the Patriots become a winning team.
Kraft stated on the day he took ownership of the team in 1994, “My objective in buying the Patriots is to help bring a championship to New England.”
However, before Kraft took over the New England Patriots, the franchise had been in trouble and on the verge of going under. In the five seasons leading up to Kraft’s acquisition of the team, the Patriots would have a 19 – 61 record with nary a playoff appearance. Up to that point in time, the Patriots had averaged just 6.6 wins per season.
Upon making his purchase, the Patriots would undergo a worst-to-first transition that has turned them into the greatest franchise in league history. Under Kraft’s leadership, the Patriots have the fewest losing seasons in the NFL, have recorded at least 9 wins in 23/27 seasons, and they’ve secured six Super Bowl Rings along the way. All recorded bests in the NFL.
More Than Just a Football Investor
While Robert Kraft is fiercely devoted to the game of football and inexorably linked to folks like Tom Brady and Bill Bellicheck, there is far more to his story. More than just an avid football fan and investor, Kraft has been exceptional at spreading his focus on a number of different projects.
Robert Kraft didn’t leap into the investment world by solely targeting athletic competitions. In the ’60s, Kraft worked for the Rand-Whitney Group, where he worked with his father-in-law to acquire the latter man’s paper and packaging company. Through this leveraged buyout, Kraft would acquire his controlling stake by 1968, eventually founding International Forest Products in the years to follow.
Outside of his affinity for football and business dealings, Kraft is a devout fan of soccer. In the early 90s, Kraft helped pitch Foxborough as a host venue for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, eventually becoming a principal investor in Major League Soccer. Kraft would found the New England Revolution club in 1995. A few decades later, Kraft would be named Honorary Chairman of the Board of the United Bid Committee as they helped to secure a World Cup location for North America in 2026. Recently, Kraft made headlines for flying the UNH men’s soccer team on a Patriot Plane for their latest showing in the NCAA tournament.
In 2017, Kraft would embrace modernity by founding the Boston Uprising, an e-sports team in the surging Overwatch league. The investment was made alongside Kraft’s son and part-and-parcel of the Kraft Group’s efforts to stay current with the sports world. Kraft would say during an interview with MassLive, “We are currently assembling a team that we anticipate will compete for championships.”