Robert Kraft and the New England Revolution: Plans, Strategies, And Victories


As a child, Robert Kraft fell in love with American football. More specifically, he pledged himself to the New England Patriots. The players, the plays, the politics: everything on and off the field was exhilarating to the little boy in the stands. However, the future owner of the Patriots didn’t cordon his interest in professional sports to one team or one game. 

As the investor/operator of the New England Revolution, he applied the same strategies that lifted the Patriots from worst to first. See how he single-handed defined the culture of soccer in New England, and gave everyone a team to root for. 

Strategic Steps to Victory 

Kraft can attribute much of his success to looking around the corner at what’s coming ahead. While it’s impossible to predict everything, it’s not unusual for at least some writing to be on the wall. (If hindsight is 20/20, Kraft’s foresight wasn’t too far off.) He didn’t just buy the Patriots in 1994. First, he bought the parking lots around Foxboro. Then, he purchased the stadium, which gave him leverage when an owner was ready to sell the team to another city. 

In the same vein, Robert Kraft didn’t immediately become the operator of the Revolution in 1995. First, he lobbied to make Foxboro one of the venues for FIFA during the 1994 World Cup. This helped him make the inroads he would need to use his future property for professional soccer. Today, both the Patriots and the Revolution call Gillette Stadium home. In fact, they’re playing on land that Kraft has had in his portfolio since 1985. The two teams share a total of 5 league championships and 13 conference titles. Whether his stadium is hosting a concert or a playoff game, every event and every memory made there can be attributed to Kraft’s legacy. 

The Love of the Game 

Americans may not be known for their diehard devotion to soccer, but Kraft has challenged that assumption on every level. Year after year, the number of supporters grew, spurred on by Kraft’s promises and lobbying for the most important games. In addition to getting Foxboro on FIFA’s radar in 1994, Foxboro would also host three MLS Cup competitions.

A record-breaking 60,000 people showed up for the 2002 match between LA Galaxy and New England Revolution — the largest crowd ever for the title. Foxboro would also be one of the major venues for the Women’s World Cup in both 1999 and 2003. In the latter year, 50,000 people showed up to cheer on the US National Team as they squared off against North Korea. In 2011, 60,000+ people watched live from the stands as the Men’s National Team beat Spain. Between Gillette and Foxboro, Kraft is proud to have hosted more than 30 international matches. 

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Robert Kraft is hardly the only person in the country who loves soccer, but it’s by no means a ubiquitous interest. In 2022, 25 million people in the US tuned in to watch Argentina take down France in the final of the World Cup. Just a few months later, 113 million Americans tuned in to watch the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles. Kraft may not have convinced everyone to watch soccer, but his influence on New England has been truly undeniable. He’s helped people embrace a game that can be every bit as suspenseful to watch, particularly when the most talented athletes in the sport are gracing the field. 

Kraft at Work 

Kraft has always known what it means to earn what he receives. By excelling in public school, he was able to go to Columbia and then Harvard. When he was getting started in his career, Robert Kraft chose the practical industry of paper and packaging. Starting at the Rand-Whitney Group, Inc. gave him the stability he wanted, and it didn’t take him long before his work ethic and talent would distinguish him from his peers. 

As with most of his initiatives, he excelled in this economic sector. Not only did he purchase Rand-Whitney corporation down the line, but he also established International Forest Products. Between the two, he’s managed to establish the largest privately held group of its kind in the country. Today, most of his day-to-day life is focused on his many philanthropic interests. From at-risk young people to healthcare to volunteer recognition, his Foundation is extremely hands-on. 

Robert Kraft takes pride in helping his neighbors, whether that’s by inviting the fire department to the stadium or donating millions to establish an inclusivity program at Massachusetts General Hospital. When he talks about passion these days, it’s less to do with his victory records and more about how he can spend his resources. Ultimately, it’s about making a real impact on those around him.

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